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Martinelli Associate Daniel Ochy Diez (And Others) Facing Corruption Charges re Highway Construction Projects

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Detention ordered for Martinelli associate Daniel Ochy in a case of contract 'overruns' on the highway widening project near P.C.

His is the same outfit that that dropped a pedestrian bridge on that highway, blocked all the exits of LaPrensa newspaper one night, and received banana concessions. 

TransCaribe Trading is also responsible for that big gash which is so visible from Boquete on the side of Jaramillo, where about 6 square miles of forest were removed for development that never occurred. 


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Following along on Ochy's arrest is the order today to have the former Minister of Public Works, Federico José "Pepe" Suárez, picked up. 

The overruns on the project in question were $60 million, or 38% of the original contract value.


Certainly seems criminal to me.


Edited by Keith Woolford
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  • Admin_01 changed the title to Martinelli Associate Daniel Ochy Accused of Corruption re Highway Construction Projects
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Panama $60 million scam suspect denied bail

TCT work site during road widening

DANIEL OCHY of Transcaribe Trading (TCT), has been denied bail by the 15th  Criminal Court as he is considered a flight risk.

He is in preventive detention while under investigation for alleged massive overcharging on a contract for the rehabilitation and widening of the Arraiján-La Chorrera highway and if convicted could face 8-12 years in jail.

Judge Leslie Alberto Loaiza said that  “there are elements that tell us that to give freedom to Daniel Ochy …  he has sufficient economic means to withdraw from the process,” according to a press release issued by the Judicial Branch.

An audit of the Comptroller General determined that the contract awarded to TCT for $161.8 million, had a surcharge of $60.5 million.

According to Loaiza, “this indicates that we are facing an alleged offense of aggravated embezzlement, for which  the penal code  establishes if the amount exceeds the sum of $100,000, the penalty will be 8 to 15 years in prison.”

Ochy has been detained pre-emptively since June 22.

In this case were also pre-emptive detainees of  Former Ministers of Public Works Federico Pepe Suárez and Jaime Ford Castro, but the judge granted bail of $ 500,000 each.

Adecio Mojica, of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, filed an appeal, but the judge’s decision was upheld by the Second High Court



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CD deputies and businesses got kickbacks

Yanibel Abrego. got $20,000

EIGHT  companies that received checks totaling $3.4 million from the company that got the contract for the extension and rehabilitation of the Arraiján-La Chorrera highway have been added to the list of Democratic Change (CD) deputies who got hand outs including the current president of the National Assembly.

According to an audit by the Comptroller General.the checks  were generated by Transcaribe Trading, S.A. (TCT), the company that once sent trucks to block delivery of La Prensa and Dia a Dia, after the publication of revelations of earlier malfeasance,

Gabriel-Gaby-Btesh-150x150.jpgSeveral of the companies are linked to Gabriel Gaby Btesh, who did business with the Martinelli government. His lawyer, José María Castillo, said that the checks correspond to payments that TCT made to  Btesh for the sale of a property.

The audit also shows that  December 20, 2010, TCT transferred $2 million to  “New Business”  at Global Bank Overseas.

According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, New Business is the account to which money came from companies that provided funds for the purchase of Editora Panamá América, allegedly from contracts with the State.

The Anti-Corruption Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the alleged millions of dollars over-charge for the widening of the highway.

The majority of the CD deputies who got checks a few days after the 2014 election kept silent or were in denial mode after the revelations on Monday reports La Prensa.

One of the few who spoke- -was Jorge Dutari, deputy substitute of the PRD Elías Castillo, who said that the $10,000 check he received was a donation.

Carlos Afú, who got $20,000 from TCT did not speak, but  Telemetro reported, that he told them that the deputies would issue a statement , but by the time La Prensa went to press it had not been generated.

Meanwhile, Rogelio Cruz, a lawyer for Porfirio Ellis, a former deputy to CD deputy, said that his client

told him that “he had not received any TCT checks.” According to the Comptroller’s Office, TCT gave him a check for $ 20,000.

The deputies Mariela Vega ($ 30,000) and Héctor Aparicio ($ 15,000), also of CD, did not answer La Prensa’s calls. The Comptroller’s audit also reveals that TCT issued checks in favor of Yanibel Ábrego, currently President of the Assembly ($ 20,000); and Juan Manuel Poveda (($20,000) Abrego also said she had not received any checks from the company.

Poveda also did not speak but had already said that he did not know the owners of TCT.

Rogelio Cruz, a lawyer for Porfirio Ellis, a former  CD deputy  said that his client s”had not received any TCT checks.” According to the Comptroller’s Office, Ellis got a check for $20,000.



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“Nothing illegal” in $3.4 million hand out -Deputy

Mariela Vega

ONE of the Democratic Change (CD),  deputies who received checks from a construction company granted a multi million dollar contract during the Martinelli administration says   there was nothing illegal in pocketing the checks ranging from $10,000 to $30,000, totaling $3.4 million.

The statement came from Mariela Vega, referring to the checks she and CD colleagues received from the company Transcaribe Trading, S.A., in charge of the expansion of the Arraiján-La Chorrera highway, work that is the object of an investigation in the Public Ministry.

According to audit reports of the Comptroller General she received $30,000 which she said was “a campaign donation”, received through management checks.

Payment was issued on April 23, 2014, through check 010736, according to the audit of the Comptroller’s Office, reports La Prensa.

The deputy claimed that “we had the right to receive donations from natural and legal persons. ” There is nothing illegal. We are not part of the investigations,”

According to Vega, the worrying aspect of the situation is the leakage of “confidential” information to a “means of communication,” either by the Comptroller or the Public Ministry.

In April 2014, just a few days before the general elections of that year, the company

Transcaribe Trading, S.A., issued checks in favor of deputies of the National Assembly and candidates for that position. These were the deputies Yanibel Abrego, Carlos Afú, Héctor Aparicio and Juan Manuel Poveda, of the CD party. Checks were also made to Elías Castillo of the PRD.

Democrats, and the candidates for a seat in the Legislative at that time, Mariela Vega (today deputy) and Porfirio Ellis, also of CD.

The checks, according to an audit of the Comptroller’s Office, left the account 45-101- 23368-5 from TCT at Global Bank, where this company deposited money from factoring operations “for infrastructure works and road construction”.

The investigation, which the Comptroller gave to the MP for the research related to possible overcharging on the rehabilitation of the road, further reveals that from the same account Felipe Pipo Virzi and Mike Btesh also received payments. Both are immersed in multiple corruption investigations.



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Embezzlement Suspect Granted $5 Million Bail

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Daniel Ochy Diez director of Transcaribe Trading (TCT), facing trial for alleged embezzlement of the Ministry of Public Works (MOP), related to the design and construction contract for the rehabilitation and widening of the Autopista Arraiján-La Chorrera has had a court ruling denying him bail, overturned.

Judge Wilfredo Sáenz Fernández, of the Second Superior Court, revoked a decision of the 15th Criminal Court denying bail. Among the reasons given for the reversal is that “Ochy Diez has no criminal record; he has no intention of causing physical harm to other people or destroying, polluting or disappearing.”

The Court warned that the accused cannot leave the country without authorization.

The Public Ministry has investigated since August 2015, a supposed cost overrun for more than $60 million dollars in the highway expansion project. The project was granted to TCT during the administration of  Ricardo Martinelli at a cost of $152.6 million The estimated time for its realization it was two and a half years, but it took more than four years.

Ochy is involved in another criminal investigation related to the purchase of the  Panama America publishing company.



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Ex-Minister to trial in $47.5 million overpricing case


Ex MOP minister Suarez

Posted 16/04/2019

Panama’s former Minister of Public Works, in the Marinelli administration, José "Pepe" Suárez and Jorge Luis Sánchez have been called to trial for alleged overpricing in the improvement and expansion of the Domingo Díaz road, according to a source linked to the Judicial Branch.

Suarez is accused of a crime against public administration. At the same time, it requests provisional dismissal for Crescencia Pomares and María Eugenia González reports La Estrella.. 

The investigation of the case originated as a result of a complaint from the comptroller Federico Humbert who gave the Public Prosecutor an audit that calculated the overpricing of the work at $47.5 million.

According to the audit, the price of the work should have been $ 190 million instead of $ 237.5 million.

The former Minister of Public Works has also been investigated for the construction of the La Chorrera-Arraiján highway and for the Blue Apple case, related to the alleged payment of bribes by contractors to operations during the last administration of the government.

In addition,he  it received provisional dismissal r the case of the purchase of dehydrated food through the extinct National Assistance Program (PAN).



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Embezzlement suspect moves to house arrest after two years


During his stay at El Renacer, Ochy (third from the right) took coffee with other high profile detainees such as, from Left to Right: Ignacio Fábrega, Gustavo Pérez, Jaime Ford, West Valdés, Felipe Virzi, Frank De Lima and Luis Cucalón

Posted 07/08/2019

Daniel Ochy, the legal representative of the Transcaribe Trading Company ( TCT ), who has spent over two years in preventive detention, charged with embezzlement in the extension of the Arraiján-La Chorrera highway was released from El Renacer Prison on Tuesday, August 6.

Supreme Court  Judge Luis Ramón Fábrega, granted a habeas corpus in favor of the accused. The measure was executed the same day.  Judge Harry Diaz saved his vote.

Ochy remains under house arrest and an impediment to leaving the country without judicial authorization.

Ochy, has been called to trial by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office of with his brother  David and nine other people, including former ministers of Public works of the Martinelli government Federico Suárez and Jaime Ford.

The Comptroller General of the Republic estimated at $7.9 million the possible property injury to the State in the payments made by the MOP to TCT for the work, which was tendered at $152.6 million but ended up costing $161.8 million.



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