Irrigation bribery scam nets 12 suspects

1,903Views 0Comments Posted 13/08/2015

THE NET hauling in people allegedly connected to a bribery scam in which the previous government paid $37.4 million for a job that was never done, continues to add fresh names of former high profile government officials or those with close links to the Martinelli administration

With the most recent arrests, there are now 12 people facing charges in the investigation surrounding the failed irrigation project in Tonosí with even bigger names forecast o face justice.
The charges are based on the alleged bribes paid by contractor Hidalgo & Hidalgo reports La Prensa.
The first to be arrested was company President Juan Francisco Hurtado, caught in May as he tried to flee the country. Days later, company official Marcos Albán, who signed the $155 million contract with the state, was also arrested.
On June 3, Prosecutor Zuleyka Moore cited entrepreneur and former Vice President Felipe Virzi, stating he had received a payment from H&H of $10 million.
Two days after the arrest of Virzi, Moore ordered the arrest of former Minister of Agricultural Development Óscar Osorio, who signed the contract with H & H in 2012.
Virzì also named Porfirio Ellis, an influential member of Martinelli's CD party, as the person who "invited" him to enter into the irrigation project.
Ellis was arrested July 2 for allegedly receiving a $319,000 payment from H & H.
On July 22, former Minister of Agricultural Development Emilio Kieswetter was arrested for allegedly initiating the project.
On Aug. 5, Aurelio Mejia, who served as director of investment programming for the Ministry of Economy and Finance was arrested, along with Juan Moreno, of Agroenergía Internacional, Richard Rodman and Luis González.
This week, Julio Terrientes and journalist Julio Miller became the latest people arrested in the case for allegedly receiving money from H & H.
That number is expected to rise as Virzi has linked former President Ricardo Martinelli to the case. Virzi said he made payments to Ricardo Calvo, a close associate of Martinelli