INTERPOL Red alerts have been issued for two members of the board of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) who are reportedly out of the country while under criminal investigation.
Nicolás Corcione and Henri Mizrachi, were appointed by ex-president Ricardo Martinelli and both are charged with alleged money laundering in the “New Business” investigation, involving the use of government funds to purchase a newspaper group, Editora Panamá América, S.A., (Epasa) that became a propaganda sheet for Martinelli.
Both have also failed to fulfil their duties as directors of the ACP after being absent from meetings of the state corporation. An ACP spokesman said that the directors communicated “that they have had issues personal and business outside the country.” reports La Prensa
It is not the first time that Corcione has been absent from ACP meetings due to legal actions. On September 25, 2015, he reappeared at a board meeting after being absent for two months, when then Organized Crime prosecutor Nathaniel Murgas, tried to investigate, without success, alleged money laundering related to accounts of ex-Supreme Court judge Alejandro Moncada Luna.
Corcione reappeared one day after the sixteenth criminal judge, Enrique Pérez, resolved that the process should be aired by the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice. The prosecutor appealed, but in September 2016 the Second Superior Court canceled the process involving Corcione and 14 other people.
In that investigation, he was linked to former Judge Moncada Luna’s accounts by Jorge Espino Méndez and María Gabriela Reyna. Espino Méndez testified before the prosecution that on instructions from Corcione he paid $400,000 to Cubemu, S.A., linked to Ricardo Ricky Calvo, and Felipe Pipo Virzi Espino Méndez also stated that he paid another $ 200,000 to Las Cobros GC, S.A., presumably linked to Corcione.
As a representative of the company Concepto y Espacios, Espino Méndez was awarded several works in the Judicial Branch when Moncada Luna presided over it.
Recently, Espino Méndez reached a penalty agreement with the Special Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office related to Odebrecht bribes. In this case, he confirmed that he was the intermediary to receive Odebrecht bribes for former Public Works Minister Jaime Ford.
In a ruling contrary to that of Judge Pérez, on August 30, the plenary session of the Supreme Court (CSJ) denied an appeal for guarantees presented by the legal defense of Mizrachi, in which he alleged that the Prosecutor against Organized Crime had no competence to investigate him as a director of the ACP. in the New Business case.
In the ruling, the CSJ pointed out that the fact that Mizrachi was “a member of the board of an autonomous or semiautonomous entity did not prevent the Court hearing the case “