Ruling party hit by bombshell corruption confession

 
1,193Views 9Comments Posted 31/10/2017

ON THE DAY  that Panama’s business organizations planned  a massive  demonstration against corruption and impunity revelations were published of a former ambassador’s role in transferring $700,000  from Odebrecht to the election campaign of President Juan Carlos Varela.

According to a  statement to  anti-corruption  prosecutors by the former ambassador of Panama in South Korea,  Jaime Lasso,  from April 2011 to May 2012, $1.4 million was triangulated from Odebrecht through the offshore Poisedón company and $700,000 went to the Panamenista Party.

Money laundering?
It would have violated the electoral law and could lead to charges of money laundering, former Electoral Tribunal judge (TE) Guillermo Márquez Amado told La Prensa. 

In recent days, President Varela emphasized that investigations by the Public Prosecutor's Office "must continue with the support of all Panamanians because the fight against corruption cannot be stopped" reports Panama America.

Lasso, confessed before the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office that André Rabello – former head of Odebrecht in Panama- consigned $700,000 to the Don James Foundation, which went to the Panameñista Party for  Varela’s election campaign in 2009.

The ex-judge said that the electoral law prohibits donations from abroad to political parties.

Offshore companies
Lasso also said that he provided advice to Odebrecht on lobby issues, for which he bought two offshore companies: Poseidón and V-Tech.

La Prensa was able to confirm that Poseidón, according to Meinl Bank records, received $1.4 million between April 5, 2011 and May 23, 2012, from accounts of Klienfeld Services Ltd. and Innovation Research Engineering and Development Ltd., both controlled by Odebrecht financial operators.

Jaime Lasso del Castillo was investigated by the Public Ministry (MP) almost two months ago, accused of crimes against the economic order.

He is  a doctor who entered politics in 2008 when he joined the Panameñista Party and became ambassador and consul in South Korea during the past administration when there was still was an alliance between Martinelli’s CD Party and the Varela led Panameñistas.

To begin with, he said he received $700,000 - in five contributions - for the 2009 campaign,  funds deposited, not in the accounts of the Panameñista Party, but in the foundation “mixing that money with all my assets ".

Then, he made checks that were deposited "in the 2009 political campaigns of Varela completing the triangulation: through the foundation as without leaving a trace of Odebrecht's money.

Black money
In 2009 the Brazilian Luiz Antonio Mameri - then Vice President of Odebrecht for Latin America and Angola -, confessed that his company had contributed to “$400,000 of black funds” to the campaign of former President Ricardo Martinelli.

The Odebrecht contributions, as always, were not free. Lasso said he met the Odebrecht superintendent in Panama, André Rabello, at the beginning of 2009, at the inauguration of the Panama-Colón highway.

"He [Rabello] expressed his interest in accessing   Panameñista Party members.”. The company -said the doctor- sought their political support for its intention to seek contracts.

That's how candid the statements were. And Lasso did not waste time. Rabello was introduced to a small circle of power: including then vice president, now president Juan Carlos Varela.



Comments 9

user
mhogan

I will; I am. Please do likewise instead of spouting off nonsense.

4 years ago
user
Muse

Just wait and watch what happens. Be patient.

4 years ago
user
mhogan

And you alt-lefters are intent on believing everything you read and hear in fake news outlets (CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NYT, et al). You, and they, are so much in denial re: Clinton(s), their infamous foundation, Obama, Pedestas, Debbie WS, that I don’t believe that even if they are implicated/convicted on wrong-doing, you’ll still be on the Trump/Russia collusion, (which is a crime only in your small mindedness) even long after proof of non collusion or wrong doing. Most alt-righters on this site are nothing more than Conservative voices so your labelling is unjustified but a talking point as you have nothing to free-think with. At least they, and myself included, subscribe to the belief that the mind is like a balloon: once expanded, it will never return to its original dimension. This is in contrast to you and your alt-lefters who try to suck air out if the ballon instead of expanding it. Pitiful lot! If perchance, concrete evidence of Pres. Trump having committed any crime comes to light, I will change my opinion of him but all your talking points only re-inforces that you guys truly are out of touch with reality.

4 years ago
user
Muse

Well it's obs that you alt righters can't connect the dots. Or have you not heard about George P.

4 years ago
user
Many Darwin awards

You have not got over the beat down yet we see .you will soon be sick from all the hate you carry . And Trump will still be President . Sad you have no life other than hate . Oh well the rest of us are doing great

4 years ago
user
Wisdom

Today all thinking people should be confused. I just looked at the newly released Kennedy papers. Now we see the lies and it brings no comfort, the betrayal of good people is everywhere. I know there are truths and there are lies, I thought I would be relieved to have the truth exposed everywhere. Good people, sadly we begin to see the curtains fall, just as we struggle to find an HONEST MAN, there is no joy for being right...not today, the corruption is overwhelming and being right just makes me sad!

4 years ago
user
RedNekTex

Umm...this was in '09-'12, long before Trump was even a blip on the political radar. Must you haters make everything about Trump? It reflects very badly upon your perceived level of inteligence. Trump has been charged or convicted of nothing save doing what he was elected to do by the People.

4 years ago
user
ME

No parallel at all. Mueller is on the right track. All of the diversions are just that diversions by the global conspiracy bunch. The Trump Gang is the most corrupt gang ever assemble in Washington.

4 years ago
user
mhogan

Hypocrisy much? Anyone else see a parallel between this situation and the Clinton/Trump Russian Collusion saga? Looks like draining the swamp (an even murkier swamp) is endemic in politics outside the US as well. Sad! The people of Panama deserve better

4 years ago
The comments are the responsibility of each author who freely expresses his opinion and not that of Newsroom Panama.
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