January 27, 2023

Lakeview Gazette

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Spain investigates Kirchner officials over bribes for Sarminto train after OECD complaint

The Spanish anti-corruption prosecutor An investigation is to begin in Madrid on one of the most important Argentine episodes Lava Jato: project Bury Sarmiento train valued at US$1.5 billion. He did so on his complaint Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for crimes Bribery, money laundering and corruption In international transactions

Spanish researchers want to investigate the role of a company and two peninsular citizens in the “money trail”. That is, in movement and laundry During Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s presidency, US$4.5 million was used to bribe public officials..

Doubts are central DSC workshopThe parent company of a multi-million dollar Madrid-based architecture studio Otbrecht By It is called consulting work This allowed the Brazilian company to justify the outflow of those funds from its balance sheet without raising alarms.

Burial works of Sarminto trainMinistry of Transport

Those funds, however, did not end up in the pockets of Spanish architects. They were routed to accounts in Andorra Private Bank (PBA), Switzerland, and from there to the Caribbean and Uruguay. Nation in 2019 as part of an investigation into the Odebrecht bribery ring International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)It was part of Perfil newspaper in Argentina.

Now, Spain’s Public Ministry has asked the National Court to investigate the leaders of the DSC workshop. He asked the then transport secretary to give advice to Switzerland focusing on the agreement. Richard JamesBrazilian Odebrecht signed with the Spanish-based confederation howItalian Kella and Argentina YexaBy then Angelo CalcaderaA relative of the late President Maurizio Macri.

Maurizio Macri's cousin, Angelo Calcadera
Maurizio Macri’s cousin, Angelo CalcaderaFile, archive

Meanwhile, Argentine courts are already investigating allegations of bribery in the Sarminto train burying scheme. But Suffering for two yearsDespite the efforts of federal prosecutors Franco PicardiHe forced Brazil to hand over evidence and asked officials, businessmen and middlemen to be prosecuted. Manuel Vasquez and Jorge “Garcho” Rodriguez.

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Despite prosecutor Picardi’s explanations, the file remains pending in federal court Marcelo Martinez de Giorgi. It has been on the fourth floor of the Comodoro Pi court since the Federal Chamber of Buenos Aires annulled the proceedings issued by the magistrate in August 2019.

But while the investigation in Buenos Aires remains stagnant, the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office in Madrid has requested the first trial steps to move forward against Spain in the case of at least US$4.5 million in bribes to Argentine officials. Contract Award.

Judge Marcelo Martinez de Giorgi
Judge Marcelo Martinez de GiorgiNation

One of those first actions, according to the prosecutor’s office, was raised with the judge in charge of the trial in Madrid. Ismail MorenoCiting the Spanish defendants, head of the DSC workshop referred to by Odebrecht and its executives in Brazil, after reaching an agreement with that country’s public prosecutor’s office.

According to Spanish researchers, DSC has facilitated bribery in Argentina and other Latin American countries through similar financial strategies.. “A combined examination of all reveals a persistent profile of vicious activity in money-laundering circles with funds derived from corrupt practices reported by tax authorities in Peru, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador,” the prosecutor’s office noted.

The level of activity should not be surprising. Between 2010 and 2012 the DSC workshop served as a cover to pay Odebrecht more than 34.6 million in bribes in Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and Brazil. A statement from the Andorran police, which was published by the newspaper CountryFrom Spain, in March 2018.

Six months later, a team from the Directorate General of Taxation (DGI), then under the leadership of Horacio Castagnola, appeared before Judge Martínez de Giorgi to report the discovery of a payment of US$4.5 million to the DSC workshop from a Banco Santander Río account belonging to a consortium of Odebrecht, Iecsa, Ghella and Comsa. The owner of that account? Calcadera lieutenant Santiago Altieri, who was pointed out as the briber in the “Sarmiento Project”, Manuel Vásquez, head of Ricardo Jaime..

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That report by the DGI brought results, but not what was expected. Because justice did not act as quickly as it should have – prosecutor Picardi asked to prosecute Calcadera and other defendants, but the judge ruled that they were incompetent. It was the beginning of Castagnola’s end as head of the DGI, and many of his collaborators were displaced..

Horacio Castagnola moved in as head of TGI
Horacio Castagnola moved in as head of TGI

Can DSC be invoked for legal purposes in Argentina, unlike in countries like Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and Brazil? According to those responsible for the Spanish company, which is now dying in Madrid, no. Or only partially. That is, it happened to them in Ecuador when they were in charge of writing the technical report on the Baba Multipurpose Dam, and that work was a screen for everything else.

In the case of Argentina, they indicated before the direct consultation and in writing from the DSC Nation“Odebrecht commissioned us to review some of the work related to this work, and apparently, Purpose of withdrawing money from your balance”, they noted in 2019, to qualify later “A Hell” What have they faced over the years as a result of their appearance in the midst of illegal transactions by the anti-bribery unit?

Nation Sarmiento explored the possibility that the appearance of the DSC workshop was a screen in the plan to bury the train. What was the response from Madrid? “I confirm that your understanding is correct.” However, despite all the allegations they face, DSC said they were not aware of any illegal transactions. Now, after the OECD’s complaint, they have to give explanations before the Spanish judiciary.

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