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Demetrio Jimmy Papadimitriu (former Minister of the Presidency) and Jaime Ford (former Minister of Public Works) Jailed Pending Investigations of Corruption

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Ex-minister at corruption probe to protect mom

Papadiitriu and Ford

Jimmy Papadimitriu a  former Minister of the presidency during the Ricardo Martinelli regime,   showed up unbidden at the Avesa building on Via Espana on Wednesday, Aug 6, to find out, according to him, why his mother María Bagatelas de Papadimitriu, had been summoned to the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.

She is one of a long line of prominent citizens, including former cabinet ministers who are being interrogated for alleged links to corruption and bribery following Monday’s announcement about 15 investigations by the Attorney General’s team of prosecutors.

Many are linked to the receipt in Panama of Brazilian court testimonies identifying alleged players in the Odebrecht bribery scandal, involving scores of millions of dollars.

Speaking to the media, a thinned down Papadimitriu said he hoped to “evaluate the file “in which his mother is involved in  some way.

He confirmed that on  Tuesday, two of the family companies were searched During the raid officials took some USBs and “some other things,” he said.

“I am here voluntarily,  as my mother has been mentioned in one of the cases … I am coming to see what it is, since I do not want my mother nor any of my relatives to be harmed,” , said the ex-official, accompanied by his legal team.

Papadimitriu insisted that he was willing to cooperate with the Public Ministry reports La Prensa.

Another minister of the last government who arrived at the prosecutor’s office investigating the payment of bribes  was former Public Works Minister  Jaime Ford who is the focus of several probes.



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Two former ministers behind bars

Jaime Ford and Jimmy Papadimitriu

TWO MORE MINISTERS  of the Ricardo Martinelli era got their introductions to prison cells on Wednesday, September 6, charged with money laundering after questioning linked to the Odebrecht bribery scandal.

Demetrio Jimmy Papadimitriu (Presidency) and Jaime Ford (Public Works) were ordered detained by the Anti-Corruption Special Prosecutor’s Office, after being submitted to over 12 hours of interrogation.

The inquiries and arrests of the ministers are part of the investigations into bribes handed out   by Odebrecht in Panama.

Luiz Eduardo Soares, a member of the  Odebrecht [Bribery] Operations sector revealed  in Brazil that he  paid bribes to Ford. Miguel Batista, a lawyer for Ford, said the prosecutor has charged his client with money laundering. He denied the charges and said that he will bring the relevant remedies to revoke the arrest. He said that his client stripped himself of the electoral privilege he has as a candidate in the internal elections of the Democratic Change.(CD) Party.

In  Papadimitriu’s case, Luiz Antonio Mameri, responsible for paying bribes for Odebrecht, declared in Brazil that he gave $4 million to the minister of the Presidency in the last government.

Nicolás Brea, lawyer for Papadimitriu, confirmed Papadimitriu’s arrest for alleged laundering of capital. He said that the measure is unfair, and they would demonstrate that the ex-official did not receive Odebrecht bribes.

He explained that the former minister presented himself to the prosecution to avoid the arrest and investigation of his mother, Maria Bagatelles, also wanted by the prosecution as part of this process.

Papadimitriu told reporters, when he arrived  at the prosecutor’s office at 8. 30 a.m.: “I am here voluntarily, my mother [Mary Bagatelles de Papadimitriu] has been cited in one of the cases […] I am appearing to see what it is, since I do not want it to be harmful to my Mom or any of my relatives.”



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Parents of ex-minister hid $16 million in Andorra

Jimmy Papadimitriu
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The parents of Jimmy Papadimitriu, Minister of the Presidency of Panama during the presidency of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), moved $16 million to banking entities in Andorra.

Details of the money laundering and tax evasion scam between 2010 and 2014  were published in The Spanish newspaper El País on Wednesday, February  7.

The information is based on a report of The Financial Intelligence Unit of Andorra, a small state in the Pyrenees with about 78,000 inhabitants.

The former Minister is under investigation in Panama for allegedly receiving bribes from the Odebrecht construction company.

His parents had 45 accounts in the Private Banking of Andorra and the Crèdit Andorrà, two entities from  Andorra that in recent years had come under fire because it did not provide financial information to other states.

According to El País, the ex-ministers parents moved  several million dollars from different construction companies,

Among them, Panacol Construction Company of Panama which contributed $5 million to the Papadimitriu in December 2012, while they also transferred funds to their accounts from companies such as the Constructora Meco, the Constructora Internacional del Sur, Inversiones del Cono Sur, Meinl Bank and Monterde NG Power.

El Pais notes that the father of the former minister, now deceased, controlled up to 133 Panamanian companies.

In the Odebrecht case, Papadimitriou was preventively detained last year but. following a Supreme Court ruling which resolved a habeas corpus presented by his legal team, he has the impediment of leaving the country without judicial authorization and the obligation to report every 15 days.



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Court rejects move to block money laundering probe

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A Panama court has thrown out an attempt to block a  money laundering investigation of the family of the former Minister of Presidency, Demetrio Jimmy Papadimitriu.

The Twelfth Criminal Court rejected an incident of nullity against the order to investigate Marian Bagatelas de Papadimitriu, mother of Jimmy Papadimitriu.

IT  was ordered by the Special Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office in the investigation for alleged receipt of Odebrecht bribes.

In a resolution dated August 31, the court establishes that there are elements of conviction that involve linking the researched with the alleged commission of the crime of money laundering.

The court noted that in collaboration agreements agreed so far by the Public Ministry with Executives of Odebrecht, it was established that former Minister Papadimitriu received payments from the Brazilian constructor, through his parents Diamantis Papadimitriu and María Bagatelas de Papadimitriu.

An analysis of the accounts of the Papadimitriu family was carried out and in four of their companies.

In the crime of money laundering the burden of proof is reversed, so it is the prosecuted who must prove the legality of the flows that he owns.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Demetrio Jimmy Papadimitriu (former Minister of the Presidency) and Jaime Ford (former Minister of Public Works) Jailed Pending Investigations of Corruption
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Three Martinelli era Ministers face corruption trial


Posted 31/05/2021

Among the list of 50 people called to trial for alleged money laundering and corruption of public servants are three former ministers of the Ricardo Martinelli administration (2009-2014).

 They are Frank De Lima, Economy and Finance , Demetrio Jimmy Papadimitriu, Presidency,  and Jaime Ford, Public Works.

De Lima, who was Vice Minister of Economy between July 2009 and September 2011, and then Minister of between October 2011 and June 2014, would have received money in accounts in Andorra, through frontmen using cash and cashier's checks, funds that were supposedly delivered to De Lima who gave expedited passage to Odebrecht's collection efforts and arranged the items of the general budget of the Nation to pay the bills that the government owed the company.

In a report from the Crimes Against Public Administration Division, it is explained that De Lima received $7 million from companies linked to Odebrecht through José Luis Saiz Villanueva,. who told the Public Ministry that between 2012 and 2013, De Lima asked him to receive "payments." from André Rabello, who at that time was the superintendent of Odebrecht in Panama.

Jimmy Papadimitriu,  would have accepted money from companies linked to Odebrecht, during the period in which he served as an official, actions that, according to the MP, are framed in a “bribery improper liability ”. It alleges that acting in accordance with his public function, Papadimitriu received money from Box 2 of Odebrecht in accounts in Andorra that were in the name of his parents.

The file contains documents provided by the Andorran judicial authorities, including emails that reflect the banking procedures carried out by Diamantis Papadimitriu, and María Bagatelas, parents of the former minister, to open the accounts where they will receive the money. Between 2009 and 2012, Papadimitriu would have received $ .9 million in accounts in the name of María Bagatelas, his mother.

Jaime Ford, , according to the Public Ministry, also would have used his position as legal representative of the Ministry of Public Works to carry out actions incompatible with the position.

Ford, at the time of being investigated, told the prosecution that he made a networking or contact network so that his friend Jorge Espino could have a rapprochement with Rabello.

Rabello told the prosecution that in  2012, after Ford took office as minister, he introduced Espino to talk about a hydroelectric plant that they wanted to develop, for which they requested $4 million.

Rabello made it clear that he was not interested in the business, but his interest was to maintain a relationship with Ford because Odebrecht had large contracts: the coastal strip three, historical heritage, and the Santiago-Viguí highway, for which he gave an “advance” of $1.8 million in an account in Andorra, the details of which were provided by Espino.

Collaboration deals

Much of the case is based on the 18 effective collaboration agreements, and punishment with former executives of the construction company, front men, partners of some of those investigated, and relatives of former officials who received the bribes. After the Prosecutor's Office and the accused consolidated the pact, and it was approved by a judge, convictions, fines, and the return of money were achieved.

Four were the Odebrecht people who reached agreements with the Prosecutor's Office. Rabello,  director of Odebrecht in Panama, gave information on the mechanism used to obtain contacts with officials, to determine the amounts to be paid, and, in exchange, obtain privileges in the development of the works.

Fernando Migliaccio Da Silva, treasurer of the  Odebrecht Structured Operations Department, detailed how that office worked, which gave clues to the Prosecutor's Office to identify the accused and the crimes. Olivio Rodrigues Junior, in charge of making the illegal payments, provided information on the accounts that were under his control and clarified the route used for bribes. Luiz Eduardo Da Rocha Soare, the operator of the Structured Operations Department, explained how, the payment system he used, worked.

Gabriel Alvarado was a frontman for the Martinelli Linares brothers, through Mengil International. José 'Luis Saiz was De Lima's front man. He promised to return $750,000 and was sentenced to 47 months in prison. Olmedo Méndez Tribaldo, also a De Lima frontman, was sentenced to 46 months in jail. Jorge Espino was Jaime Ford's frontman and received a 42-month prison sentence and a $1million fine.

s Mozes, Danna Harrick's frontman, provided information about the funds that this former official received in Andorra. He was sentenced to 42 months in jail and returned $1.7 million.

Ramón Carretero was the front man for Riccardo Francolini, and Aurora Mudaras. He returned $1 million. Timothy Scorah was a front man for Odebrecht and agreed to be the signer of the construction company's accounts. He was sentenced to 48 months in jail. Humberto De León, Credicorp Bank executive, opened accounts with Odebrecht companies. He made $1.9  million available to the Treasury. and was sentenced to 60 months in prison.

Amado Barahona Tapia, Credicorp Bank's compliance officer, signed an effective collaboration agreement excluding charges, as the information he gave prompted the bribery investigations.

Raúl De Saint Malo, a partner of the Martinelli Linares brothers, gave information on the purchase of the oil tankers. He returned two ships, $1.9 million, and was sentenced to 60 months in prison.

Mauricio Cort, lawyer for the Martinelli Linares and Federico Suárez, provided information on the payments received in Andorra. He returned $1.6 million and received a 48-month prison sentence.

Daysie Villarreal, wife of Carlos Ho, a former official of the Ministry of Public Works, returned goods and received a 34-month prison sentence. While Carlos Ho accepted having received bribes and provided information on the overpriced projects. He was sentenced to 72 months in prison.



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Highway embezzlement hearing gets 2nd suspension


Jaime Ford (left) and Federico Suarez (right)

Posted 17/08/2021

A  preliminary hearing for former Ministers of Public Works Federico Suárez and Jaime Ford and nine other people for the for alleged embezzlement in the construction of the Arraiján-La Chorrera highway was suspended for the second time on Tuesday August 17 by defense legal maneuvers.

The highway project had a cost of $161.8 million and was assigned to the company TransCaribe Trading, SA (TCT).

The presentation of an appeal for annulment before the Second Court of Justice against a decision of the Third Court for Criminal Proceedings not to accept an appeal for annulment of the process forced the suspension of the preliminary hearing.

The hearing was suspended for the first time on July 20, but the presentation of legal resources by two defense attorneys prevented it from taking place.

In October 2018, the Discharge Anticorruption Prosecutor forwarded to the Judicial Branch the tax hearing in which it requested a trial for 11 people, among whom are Suárez, Ford and TCT directors David and Daniel Ochy.

Six former public servants were also requested to be brought to trial, including two former officials of the Ministry of Public Works, in charge of supervising the expansion, four inspectors from the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, among others.

According to the investigation, the TCT company allegedly gave funds from the State payments for the highway to private companies, such as New Business (investigated for money laundering), to deputies of the National Assembly, corporations, individuals and public servants.

The court is waiting for the Second Court to resolve the appeal to set a new preliminary hearing date.



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