Criminal probe of million-dollar lottery scandal

1,061Views 4Comments Posted 17/05/2021

The Public Ministry (MP)has opened a criminal investigation for the alleged embezzlement of a  million-dollar lottery prize.

Questions about the National  Charity Lottery (LNB) first surfaced on social networks and were expanded after contradictory statements from the head of the institution.   

The investigation also includes the use of the institution's vehicles for political affairs.

The LNB is under the control of Molirena, an ally of the Democratic Revolutionary Party. The visible face of the entity is Gloriela Del Río, its director.

Fifteen days after 7606, series 1, folio 8, turned out to be the winning ticket, it is up to the LNB authorities to answer questions.

An anti-corruption prosecutor's office seeks to determine whether there is embezzlement in this case. He is motivated by the versions that the LNB gave about the draw.

On May 3, it announced that the winning ticket had been sold in Veraguas by the ticket seller Heriberto Castillo Aguilar and that they were waiting for the winner to the "National Charity Lottery proceeded to cash in the prize of a million and four thousand dollars.

They attached the photo of the ticket with the stamp of the institution. However, days later, an anonymous video raised the first doubts about the transparency of the sweepstakes. A supposed network is mentioned that is in charge of extracting chances and winning tickets. Representative Francisco Pancho Alemán, president of the Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (Molirena); his alternate, Maira Esther González Camarena, and Gloriela Del Río, director of the entity, among other authorities.

Del Río reacted to the scandal about the Gordito winner on Friday, May 14, at a press conference. She said that he had not collected everything, that the prize was in the entity's vault. In a statement, they detailed that they had paid him $2,000 and he has $1,200,000 pending to collect. It is up to the prosecution to dig to get to the truth. But the issue brought up the old practice of governing and dividing up institutions as political spoils.

El Molirena, an ally of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party, has control of the LNB. But, according to sources from the entity itself, the one who would send there is Maira González, Alemán's substitute and a person of his absolute confidence. "In the Lottery, a page does not move without her knowing it," they told La Prensa.

González Camarena, born in Veraguas, is trained in the affairs of politics. He became an assistant to Carlos Titi Alvarado, who for 15 years was a deputy for the PRD, Later, he became Alemán's assistant in the Legislature, a deputy who in 2012 jumped from the Panameñista Party to the Molirena.  Lizmayren Serrano, González Camarena's sister-in-law, is the provincial director of the LNB in ​​Veraguas.