For the first time since the judicial investigation of the Odebrecht case began in 2017, the businessman Tomislav Topic, owner of Telconet, appropriated $ 13.5 million in favor of the State, because part of the investment made by his company in the cable submarine “could have illicit origin”.
That is, in the bribes paid by Odebrecht to obtain contracts in the country.
Topic, his son Jan and his company are being investigated by the Office of the Prosecutor for a possible money laundering related to bribes of the Brazilian construction company and that, until now, has led to the jail – due to illicit association – former Vice President Jorge Glas and his uncle Ricardo Rivera.
The story begins in 2010, when Topic and Rivera agree that he acts as an intermediary with the Chinese company Glory International Industry to invest in the submarine cable project.
The Chinese company – which for the Financial Analysis Unit, in fact, was used by Rivera to receive bribes from Odebrecht – in 2012 transferred about $ 16 million to Jan Topic, of which $ 13.5 million supposedly constituted the initial contribution of the submarine cable.
But the business to invest jointly in the submarine cable did not materialize, because Glory would not have complied with the other expected contributions, and the $ 13.5 million was used for a capital increase in favor of Jan Topic, which led to a dispute family for participation in Telconet.
For the lawyer Xavier Castro, who represents Tamar Verduga in the divorce proceedings between her and Tomislav, it is clear that there was money laundering and that the agreements between Rivera and the Topic ended up reducing the participation of the conjugal society Topic-Verduga and benefit Jan.
However, the Government surprised yesterday with the announcement that Topic had committed, by means of a formal letter, to deliver that amount to the State. “We announced the recovery of $ 13.5 million, as a result of the corruption structure of Odebrecht and the previous government,” said Iván Granda, undersecretary of Political Action. He added: “With this we respond (to the government of Rafael Correa); We already found them, and not a dollar but $ 13.5 million. Their criminal structures worked with paper companies and tax havens. “
Topic, nevertheless, specified that it is a deposit “until the illegality of the funds is proven or not”. Same as the $ 2.5 million that was recorded in 2017. “The appropriation of the securities is from our personal profit, not from that increase. And when it was done, it was in good faith and counting on the legality of the funds, “said the owner of Telconet in a brief dialogue with this newspaper.
The Office of the Prosecutor already has criminal assistance coordinated with the Government of China.
What is it now based on to say that there could be illicit funds and why, at the same time, it allocates $ 13.5 million? “There are transfers from Odebrecht to Glory International for $ 5.5 million (which revealed the testimony of José Santos), of which we, for time, could only have received $ 4 million; However, to heal ourselves in health, we have decided to consign everything, “the owner of Telconet explained via telephone.
Can you conclude that behind Glory, in fact, was Ricardo Rivera? “No, I cannot conclude that,” he added. but I cannot comment in detail on that because it is in previous investigation and is confidential. “
Eduardo Franco Loor, lawyer of Jorge Glas, pointed out that the statement released yesterday by Tomislav Topic “is clear enough to highlight business among private entrepreneurs.”
Secretary Juan Sebastián Roldán indicated that President Lenin Moreno will decide on how the money consigned will be used. (I)