Three years after the world publication of the Panama Papers, the Ecuador chapter discovered cases that, although they were investigated and brought to justice, also established new connections; for example, in the bribes of the Petroecuador and Odebrecht cases.
With the filtration of 11.5 million files of the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca in April 2016, a great scheme of corruption was revealed: the incorporation of companies in tax havens, often, though not always, to hide investments, properties or ill-gotten fortunes.
In the country, the disclosure of the documents served to uncover the illegal payments to the offshore companies of the former general manager of Petroecuador Álex Bravo Panchano and the then Minister of Hydrocarbons Carlos Pareja Yannuzzelli, by the contractors, through intermediaries.
It was revealed the hiring of screen consultants abroad to withdraw money from public contracts or to evade taxes.
That was the case of the Brazilian construction company OAS, which, according to the leak and the informer Ricardo Trombeta, diverted $ 9.1 million from the Baba Multipurpose Project.
A similar scheme was used by the Chinese contractor CWE, which, according to the disclosure of the Panama Papers confirmed by the Internal Revenue Service (SRI), feigned consulting services with a Spanish firm and another Swiss firm to reduce their taxes.
In addition, the Panama Papers revealed the commission of $ 1 per barrel of Ecuadorian petroleum pre-sold to Petrochina, a business in which intermediaries Enrique Cadena Marín and Jaime Baquerizo Escobar participated.
Another revelation was the creation of trusts or constitution of signatures to administer goods -like the house of ex-prosecutor Galo Chiriboga located in Tumbaco (Quito) or three properties of the current ambassador of Ecuador in Panama, Galo Enríquez, in Florida-.
The Panama Papers also allowed to follow some bribes delivered by Odebrecht, especially those that were made through Sentinel Mandate & Escrow (British Isles), Fernhead Holdings (Panama) and Dramiston Limited (Bahamas).
As director of the Financial Analysis Unit, Diana Salazar acknowledged last year that “there is still much to be done” with the revelations of the Panama Papers. Today, she is on the eve of taking office as attorney general.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published the database of the Panama Papers in 2016. In that file there are at least 1,852 offshore entities related to Ecuador; also, 922 officers (people related to the firms), 325 intermediaries (legal studies) and 612 addresses.
According to the SRI, $ 84.3 million in taxes were recovered until last year. (I)