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Edwin Cárdenas (Ex-Director of the Institute of Agricultural Marketing [IMA]) Facing Corruption Charges Involving the Food Solidarity Program

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Varela official facing corruption probe

Posted on June 20, 2016 in Panama

Edwin Cardenas
Post Views: 48

EDWIN CÁRDENAS, the former director of the Institute of Agricultural Marketing (IMA), is the first senior official in the current administration to be  investigated by anti-corruption prosecutors for offenses against public administration.

The investigation is based on an audit by the comptroller on the Program for Food Solidarity, which was overseen by Cardenas from July 2014 to April 2015.

Auditors found economic injury to the state of $6.5 million.

Prosecutor Ruth Morcillo is also investigating two former  institute officials as well as several other individuals, three employees of the comptroller’s office and two former officials from the Ministry of Agricultural Development. The names of those defendants have not been released reports La Prensa.

According to the audit, Cardenas failed to act with prudence and a lack of planning. This resulted in overpayments and a lack of proper processing of goods.

Cárdenas resigned on April 1, 2015, after harsh criticism due to several cases of nepotism within the institute.

Jorge Arango he Agricultural Minister tendered his resignation last week. It becomes effective July 5, and President Juan Carlos Varela has said that he will be offered a new position because of his abilities.

The cleaning up of corruption, was one of the planks in Varela’s election campaign.


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Corruption prosecutor calls in comptroller auditors in $6.5 million scam

Posted on July 6, 2016 in Panama

Edwin Cardenas
Post Views: 73

TWO AUDITORS from the Office of Panama’s Comptroller General  were interviewed  by the fourth anti-corruption prosecutor on Wednesday July 6 as part of the investigation into the alleged mismanagement of the Food Solidarity Program of the Institute of Agricultural Marketing (IMA) from July 2014 to April 2015.

A third auditor is scheduled to meet with prosecutors Thursday in the first alleged corruption scandal within  the current government.,

A part of the case, former Institute Finance Director Matias Carrillo has been barred from leaving the country.

Other people linked to the case are former Institute Logistics Director Angel Avila, former Ministry of Agricultural Development Accounting Director Migdalia Gomez and business owner Jacinto Quintero.

An audit by the Office of the Comptroller identified a possible injury to the state of $6.5 million due to the alleged irregularities during the administration of former Institute Director Edwin Cardenas, who is also charged in the case.


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Home comfort for corruption suspect

Posted on August 3, 2016 in Panama

Post Views: 75

THE FORMER  director of the Institute of Agricultural Marketing (IMA) Edwin Cardenas  became the latest  suspect  to undergo his interrogation by an anti-corrruption prosecutor in the comfort of home on Wednesday August 3.

Cardenas is being investigated for alleged crimes against public administration for alleged mismanagement during his tenure, between July 2014 and April 2015.

On July 27 it was announced that Cardenas underwent a medical evaluation at the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences after undergoing knee surgery.

Earlier in the year the brother of former president Ricardo Martinelli, got the same kid glove treatment at his home in Costa Del Este, although the next day he was able to go to a business meeting.

During the investigation of Cardenas, prosecutors have made several site inspections of regional offices and warehouses of the IMA, located in the provinces of Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui and Veraguas.


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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Miscellaneous Corruption Probes / Prosecutions

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