Institutions investigate together crimes of corruption, drug trafficking, trafficking in persons and money laundering. The fight against corruption has become one of the flags of the current government. And for this, the coordinated work between organisms is used.
Among the institutions that fight against corruption are the Citizen Participation and Transitory Social Control Council (CPCCS-T) and the Financial and Economic Analysis Unit (UAFE for its acronym, in Spanish). The two organizations have agreements on investigations into money laundering.
Diana Salazar, head of the UAFE, explained the importance of the work of both institutions.
From the UAFE, how does it look and how is it contributing in the fight against corruption?
We see the fight against corruption as steps that are taking place at the state level. It is not an isolated issue of one institution or another, but rather each of the functions of the State is aligned to eradicate evil.
In this fight, what is the role and importance of the STTLCC and the Council?
The Citizen Participation Council, which is part of the Transparency Function, is the mainstay to define the anti-corruption policies. Recall that the Council is the technical unit responsible for the implementation of the Convention against corruption, so that the State can align with all the objectives at international level in this framework.
How are the investigations in the money laundering issue going?
The work is continuous and coordinated with the CPCCS-T and with all the institutions that require support in technical assistance. And not only against the laundering of assets but also in the way of identifying other crimes, for example, those related to corruption, drug trafficking, human trafficking …
And the work to know the route of money resulting from corruption?
We are working coordinated and structured. Each one of the entities in charge of the subject has already identified and defined the competences. It is a reserved job. The results will be presented officially to the country.
How important is a System to Fight Corruption?
All anti-corruption systems and policies must be implemented at the state level. Not one or another isolated institution, but according to its competences. We will be attentive to the policies and guidelines emanating from the CPCCS-T so that the UAFE adopts them if necessary.
In a previous interview with EL TELÉGRAFO, Diana Salazar pointed out that since February 2018, which she is in the agency, 12 reports of unjustified operations have been sent to the Prosecutor’s Office. These cases have to do with corruption, mining, use of banking resources, drug trafficking.
Currently, in four processes the institution acts as a private accuser. When you have the sentences, you will know the issues of recovery, the amounts that must be paid, the fines. These cases are that of Iván Espinel, another that was derived from Odebrecht, a process in Santo Domingo, as a crime of usury for money laundering and also the case of a councilor (Eddy Sánchez) of the Municipality of Quito.
In this regard, said that from February 2018, when she assumed the charge, it meets the requirements of the law, which was in force since 2016, but did not do it. According to her, there are 13 sectors that are obliged to report to the agency, among them the financial system (banks), car dealerships, notaries, Superintendencies of Banks, Companies, etc.
She also indicated that when it is detected that money has been sent to tax havens, a process of cooperation or international criminal assistance is initiated. Here there is also a joint work with other institutions. Many actors are involved, such as the Chancellery, where they must reach negotiation or agreement at the diplomatic level to bring resources.
The official said that there are several ways to move money illegally. One of them is the misuse of the banking system, through fractionation in order to hide and not having to justify the origin of the funds before the financial institution. This is known as “smurf.” Third parties are also used to make deposits or put the goods in the name of other people. (I)