Crime & Justice

10 Former Officials Indicted in Colombia’s Odebrecht Corruption Case

Bogotá, Aug 30 (EFE).- On Wednesday, ten former officials of the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) were accused of involvement in the alleged fraud in the contract awarded to the Brazilian multinational Odebrecht for the construction of the Ruta del Sol II highway that links the center of the country with the Caribbean region.

According to the National Attorneys Office, the defendants “distanced themselves from their public duties to jointly participate in decisions that significantly increased the initial budget of the contract and ultimately benefited the concessionaire, which included Odebrecht.”

The indictment follows the colombian attorney’s August 17 announcement that more than 50 people would be indicted, including 33 current and former ANI officials and Brazilian tycoon Marcel Odebrecht.

ANI executives are accused of involvement in illegal actions in four amendments to an original contract signed in January 2010.

The alleged crimes are contracts that do not comply with the legal requirements and an undue interest in the execution of the contracts.

The prosecution states that the former employees, the contractor and the former controller “ignored the purpose of the original concession contract and allowed the inclusion of a new road (Ocaña-Gamarra) that had no relation or physical connection to the ‘Ruta del Sol II’ project”.

3,17 billion pesos (about 777,000 dollars or 712,000 euros) were allocated to the concessionaire, which included the Brazilian multinational Odebrecht, for the studies of the unrelated road.

There is also evidence that the public treasury was harmed by the increase in the initial budget and the payment of advances to the concessionaire.

The Colombian Attorney General’s Office claimed to have “uncovered the criminal mechanism” that allowed Odebrecht to create a department “dedicated exclusively to the distribution of bribes throughout the world.

In Colombia, these bribes were facilitated by high government officials such as ministers, directors of public institutions, congressmen, public servants, lobbyists, contractors and individuals,” the prosecution said. EFE


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