EIGHT companies that received checks totaling $3.4 million from the company that got the contract for the extension and rehabilitation of the Arraiján-La Chorrera highway have been added to the list of Democratic Change (CD) deputies who got hand outs including the current president of the National Assembly.
According to an audit by the Comptroller General.the checks were generated by Transcaribe Trading, S.A. (TCT), the company that once sent trucks to block delivery of La Prensa and Dia a Dia, after the publication of revelations of earlier malfeasance,
Several of the companies are linked to Gabriel Gaby Btesh, who did business with the Martinelli government. His lawyer, José María Castillo, said that the checks correspond to payments that TCT made to Btesh for the sale of a property.
The audit also shows that December 20, 2010, TCT transferred $2 million to “New Business” at Global Bank Overseas.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, New Business is the account to which money came from companies that provided funds for the purchase of Editora Panamá América, allegedly from contracts with the State.
The Anti-Corruption Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the alleged millions of dollars over-charge for the widening of the highway.
The majority of the CD deputies who got checks a few days after the 2014 election kept silent or were in denial mode after the revelations on Monday reports La Prensa.
One of the few who spoke- -was Jorge Dutari, deputy substitute of the PRD Elías Castillo, who said that the $10,000 check he received was a donation.
Carlos Afú, who got $20,000 from TCT did not speak, but Telemetro reported, that he told them that the deputies would issue a statement , but by the time La Prensa went to press it had not been generated.
Meanwhile, Rogelio Cruz, a lawyer for Porfirio Ellis, a former deputy to CD deputy, said that his client
told him that “he had not received any TCT checks.” According to the Comptroller’s Office, TCT gave him a check for $ 20,000.
The deputies Mariela Vega ($ 30,000) and Héctor Aparicio ($ 15,000), also of CD, did not answer La Prensa’s calls. The Comptroller’s audit also reveals that TCT issued checks in favor of Yanibel Ábrego, currently President of the Assembly ($ 20,000); and Juan Manuel Poveda (($20,000) Abrego also said she had not received any checks from the company.
Poveda also did not speak but had already said that he did not know the owners of TCT.
Rogelio Cruz, a lawyer for Porfirio Ellis, a former CD deputy said that his client s”had not received any TCT checks.” According to the Comptroller’s Office, Ellis got a check for $20,000.