The alleged irregularities committed by Iván Espinel Molina, former Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion, and which led to suspicions of money laundering, were carried out when the former presidential candidate also served as director in Guayas of the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute (IESS), in May of 2013 and June of 2014.
Between Friday night and last Saturday morning, in the middle of a police operation, Espinel and one of his advisers, Walter A., were detained for investigations.
The Prosecutor’s Office opened a preliminary investigation against Espinel once it obtained a report from the Financial and Economic Analysis Unit (UAFE), a report from the Comptroller’s Office with indications of criminal responsibility and statements made to the Internal Revenue Service, which were finally used as elements of conviction to request preventive detention.
The analysis of the UAFE, which found ‘unusual’ in the purchase of the house of Espinel, valued at $ 335,000, and involving Walter A., arrived at the Prosecutor’s Office on March 21. The Comptroller’s report was sent on January 26, after an examination of Espinel’s patrimonial declarations, from 2012 to 2016.
In those years, Espinel held the positions of director of the IESS Hospital in Durán and provincial director of the Guayas of the IESS, when different delegates of former president Rafael Correa headed the board of the institution, including Fernando Cordero, Víctor Villacreses and Ramiro González .
Two other cases of peculation, against Espinel, who is the cousin of Fernando and Vinicio Alvarado, former Correa officials, are awaiting the hearing to formulate charges in the Office of the Prosecutor of Guayas, both derived from Comptroller’s reports that indicate excessive payments to private clinics for the provision of services.
Abdalá Bucaram Pulley, who promoted these inquiries, indicated that another Comptroller’s report points out a brother of Espinel, linked to the public development company Ecuador Estratégico. (I)