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Odebrecht scandal hits Panama’s Vice Presidency

The Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office that carries out the investigation into those involved in briberies paid by the construction company Odebrecht in Panama summoned a person who had not been named since one of the largest corruption cases in Latin America broke out
  • File

The Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office that carries out the investigation into those involved in briberies paid by the construction company Odebrecht in Panama summoned a person who had not been named since one of the largest corruption cases in Latin America broke out.

A $ 1.9 million cashier’s check, issued on June 25, 2014, whose funds were provided by a company linked to Raul de Saint Malo García, brother of Panamanian vice president and chancellor, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, was the cause of news spread last week in the isthmus since the funds were part of the money granted by the Brazilian construction company for the purchase of a helicopter associated with one of the children of the former president of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli.

In order to continue with the investigations, the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office summoned Raúl de Saint Malo to clarify that the aircraft is part of the assets acquired with Odebrecht's bribery funds through the Swiss bank.

Rolando Rodríguez Cedeño, general secretary of the National Attorney General's Office, stated at a press conference that the businessman, who has been summoned by the Prosecutor’s Office twice, would be collaborating "extensively" by ensuring that he provided data and information that the Public Ministry (MP) evaluates and considers of "high importance" concerning his link with the issue of the money.

Raul de Saint Malo García

Although it is not a direct link, it is the first time that the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office summons a person related to the current Panamanian government to investigate Odebrecht’s case.

Apart from those involved in the purchase of the helicopter with the funds of the Brazilian construction company also charges were brought against Cristóbal Salerno, Navin Bhakta and Francisco Frankie Martinelli, cousin of former president Martinelli, for alleged money laundering.

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