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Also see https://chiriqui.life/topic/8273-global-bank-statement-regarding-the-blue-apple-case for additional information about the Blue Apple scandal.

 

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“Blue Apple” latest corruption scandal

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Kenia Porcell
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A NEW  corruption scandal has erupted in Panama following the Panama Papers and Odebrecht bribery revelations to further damage the country’s reputation.
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La Prensa’s take on the juggling act of the AG

It has landed on the overcrowded desk of Panama’s Attorney General, Kenia Porcell,  who confirms that she is investigating the alleged payment of bribes between construction companies, public officials and representatives of the administration.

She told media on Friday, Dec.1  that there is strong evidence in the  complex “Blue Apple” case  and will provide more details as  the investigation progresses, but avoided  giving  more details in order to shield the evidence,

President Juan Carlos Varela emphasized categorically that the Public Ministry should be allowed to do its work, although his administration is under stress as more details emerge of money received from Odebrechtby his Panamenista Party.

The new research is targeting construction companies, both Panamanian and foreign. In this case,  but the great absentee is Odebrecht that is not on the list of companies that the Public Prosecutor has in this file, according to information to which La Estrella de Panamá had access.

Blue Apple Services Inc., opened more than five accounts in Panamanian banks in which the group of constructors deposited almost $ 40 million.

The triangulation scheme through the company managed to channel $ 39.6 million in alleged bribes for direct contracts and for tenders. The money, once again, would have passed without alerts throughout the Panamanian banking system, according to a judicial source.

Ongoing investigations show that part of the funds would have been reinvested in properties like cars, beach houses and luxury residential projects in the capital city.

The list includes companies that have names related to the entertainment industry, casino and agricultural consultants.

The Public Ministry is seeking how the funds were destined to these investments and the names of the officials who finally received the money through what is also known as the ‘blue apple scandal’.

The documents of the Public Ministry reveal the names of the Panamanians behind Blue Apple Services.  The Public Registry shows that that the directors are Federico Antonio Barrios, Darla Alain, César Elías Quintero, Juan Alexis Rodríguez and Edwin Domínguez. Barrios is a director at the law firm Federico Barrios, which is also being investigated by the Public Ministry.

Blue Apple was created on May 3, 2003, and for each contract with the State, the company in charge paid 10% of the amount contracted.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/blue-apple-latest-corruption-scandal

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Blue Apple  bribery suspects facing interrogation

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Aurelio Vasquez

At the center of the investigation is the company Blue Apple Services Inc, which would have channeled $39.6 million dollars in alleged bribes for direct contracts and tenders through Panamanian banks

Sixth Anticorruption Prosecutor of Aurelio Vásquez, has  issued orders  for the appearance of

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Joaquín  Rodriguez

Federico Barrios and Joaquín  Rodriguez Salcedo.

The questioning of Barrios, a lawyer, began on Thursday, January 4  and Rodriguez, a banker will face prosecutors on Friday.

They are accused of creating a structure to pay fictitious invoices through which bribes t were paid and delivered to government benefactors.  They also acquired real estate to disguise the payment of bribes.

So far, effective collaboration agreements have been agreed with five people.

The file was initially in the office of Attorney  General Kenia Porcell, and was assigned it to the Sixth Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/blue-apple-bribery-suspects-facing-interrogation

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Assembly ordered to deliver $68 million scam records

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Assembly president Yanibel Abrego

La Prensa previously revealed that, in addition to donations that did not reach their real beneficiaries, more than 17,000  contracts were processed for temporary work, of which a good part was not done.

“The ruling will have a major impact on the lawsuits of habeas data and is information that has public relevance, “because the public demands to know under what terms managed the contracts, said the ex-magistrate Esmeralda de Troitiño.

It is information claimed by citizens, said Juan Diego Vásquez, representative of the Alliance of Law Schools Of Panama. “It is urgent that the Assembly fulfil the order of the CSJ and the years of opacity are over. Thanks to that information, those  responsible can be brought to justice promptly and effectively”

With this “historic” ruling, we will ask for the information to act, through criminal remedies, against those who participated in the contracts, said Annette Planells, of the Independent Movement (Movin).She added, that Movin had also asked the Assembly for the information but they denied it. Planells called for a review of the penalties for violating the Law of Transparency.

The Foundation for the Development of Citizen Liberty said the ruling is “good news”.

La Prensa revealed in a journalistic investigation that, in addition to the donations that did not reach their final beneficiaries, the temporary work contracts were delivered to people

that did not have to work and they only received 5% of the value of the contract. The rest was in the hands of deputy assistants.

Some 17,000 professional services contracts many of them, false were issued between July 2014 and December 2016, for the sum of $68 million.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/assembly-ordered-deliver-68-million-scam-records

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Wife of key  bribery suspect also detained  

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Rodríguez Salcedo and Barrio
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THE WIFE of a lead detained suspect in the “Blue Apple” bribery case is in preventive detention and 30  other people have been charged in what promises to be a major scandal mimicking Lava Jato of Odebrecht infamy.

The investigation involves the alleged payment of bribes through a $49 million central kitty and other acts of corruption by contractors of the Panamanian State.

The lawyer Federico Barrios was interrogated on Thursday, January 4  and is now in preventive detention.  His wife, Ana Mercedes Briones, has been detained since Wednesday.

Both are in the cells of the Judicial Research Directorate in Ancón. Banker Joaquín Rodríguez Salcedo was summoned for questioning, on Friday.

The investigation was originally assumed by the Attorney General  Kenia Porcell who said that she had “strong evidence” of the commission of several crimes.

Anti-corruption prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez, now in charge of the investigation, ordered inspections of several banks.

Rodríguez Salcedo and Barrios -according to the investigation- created a structure to pay fictitious invoices and buy real estate with the monies produced by bribes.

The Sixth Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office has agreed on  at least five  collaboration deals

The prosecutor’s office has not provided the identity of the collaborators, whose roles were as “intermediaries”, to facilitate money transfers. reports La Prensa.

As part of the investigations, the anti-corruption prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez has charged some 30 people with alleged illicit association and money laundering. Their identities are still under wraps.

Barrios had a detention order but was out of the country for some time. He returned to Panama Wednesday from the United States, after hearing about his wife’s detention. He went to the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office, and at the end of the day,  headed for a cell near his wife.

Joaquín Rodríguez Salcedo is the former vice president of Factoring and Finance of Global Bank. Operations in this subsidiary generated the first investigations, over allegedly unlawful transactions, made during the time in which Rodriguez Salcedo was in charge.

Barrios, a lawyer by profession, was president and legal representative of the Blue Apple Services Inc. Listed as directors are  Octavio Samaniego and Darla Alain, all had offices on the 9th floor of the Century Tower building, located on Ricard Avenue.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/wife-key-bribery-suspect-also-detained

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Ex-Ministers among  33 in Blue Apple scandal

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Former MOP Ministers Suarez and Ford
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Details of the operation of the multi-million  “Blue Apple” bribery scandal involving cabinet ministers and officials of the Ricardo Martinelli administration land local construction companies were laid bare to media on Monday, January 15, by Attorney General Kenia Porcell.

Thirty-three people have been hauled into the Public Ministry anti-corruption net and an investigation has been opened into the  Financial Analysis Unit (UAF), which failed to take action when three local banks reported suspicious transactions.

Later millions of dollars were transferred to Hong Kong, The Virgin Islands, Switzerland and the United States for the benefit of the corrupt officials.

Porcell said the highest officials of the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning (Miviot) and the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) demanded that construction companies pay bribes of between 5% and 10% to “expedite administrative procedures” between 2010 and 2011.

The  MOP  Minister was Federico Suarez and in the Miviot Carlos Duboy, who resigned after the break-up of the alliance in August 2011.

Porcell said the officials who are still being investigated “have electoral criminal jurisdiction” and the Electoral Tribunal is being asked to lift it.

The bribes were made through the paper company Blue Apple Services, S.A. (BAS), which handled about $40 million in five bank accounts, in three local banks:  Banco General, Capital Bank and Banesco.

So far $20 million in cash and  $5 million in assets such as villas, apartments and cars has been recovered,  said Porcell. In addition, $9 million has been detected outside the country.

Seven companies are investigated: Conalvías. Meco, Conceptos y Espacios, Bagatrac, Constructora Rodsa, CS Constructores e Ingeniería Rec.

Their representatives have surrendered to investigation and have identified to whom the money went, who was part of the organization, the destination of the profits, in addition to returning the illicit money.

In addition, five effective collaboration agreements have been made, of which three have been validated.

For alleged money laundering, 21 persons are investigated, of which three are in preventive detention.  Money laundering is punishable by five to twelve years in prison.

The company Blue Apple Services (BAS) was incorporated on May 23, 2011, in Panama and dissolved on August 23, 2013.   The  company served as a front for receiving and introducing illicit money into  legal economic traffic (laundering).

A savings account in Capital Bank was opened for $1 million. In the same bank, another current account was opened for $12.5 million. Capital Bank also opened two fixed terms: one for $2.3 million and another for $ 500,000. In Banco General, one was opened for $11.3 million and one in Banesco for $13 million.

The banks ordered the closure of the bank accounts after considering that the operations were unusual and out of transactional profile and alerted the Financial Analysis Unit.

In addition, other paper companies created to move public money were used by Blue Apple Societies were created for one year only in order to move the corruption money explained Porcell.

global-bank.jpgGlobal Factor) a subsidiary of Global Bank Corporation,  was used   for credit  assignments and direct payments to give the appearance of legality to corruption money

Global Bank, has issued a statement that the contracts subject to such a commercial exercise were the result of State tenders, duly adjudicated and endorsed, analyzed and investigated the origin of the funds, which were received from the MEF.

David Diaz, Assistant General Secretary of the MP, said “Up to this moment we have not been able to identify any report or any action of the UAF to the MP at that time, and we have initiated an investigation.”

 

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/ex-ministers-among-33-blue-apple-scandal

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Ex-bank VP faces bribery probe

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Rodríguez Salcedo and Barrios
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THE FORMER Vice President of Factoring and Surety of Global Bank, Joaquín Rodríguez Salcedo, a key figure in the Blue Apple bribery scandal appeared for his third grilling by the Sixth Anti-corruption prosecutor on Tuesday, Jan 16.

This was confirmed by his defense attorney Gladys Quintero at the Avesa building, headquarters of the Prosecutor, Aurelio Vásquez, to whom Rodríguez Salcedo explained the commercial structure he worked with lawyer Federico Barrios who he remains in preventive detention as is his wife Ana Mercedes Briones.

The extension of the interrogation  Rodriguez Salcedo came the day after  Attorney General, Kenia  Porcell revealed details of the investigation involving 33 people including ex-Martinelli era ministers.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/ex-bank-vp-faces-bribery-probe

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Interpol Red Alert for Blue Apple Suspect

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Ruiz on the run
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AN INTERPOL   Red Alert to locate and arrest a former director of contracts at Panama’s  Ministry of Public Works  (MOP)  has been sought by The Seventh Anti-Corruption Prosecutor.

The wanted man is Jorge Churro Ruiz, Director of Contracts Administration of the (MOP) during the management of Federico José Pepe Suárez.

Ruiz, from Spain, is a key figure in the Blue Apple bribery case. On Monday, Jan, 15.  Attorney General Kenia Porcell, said that “in the case of the MOP, it was the director of public contracts who asked for bribes “.

On September 30, 2011,  MOP  Minister Súarez, signed three resolutions authorizing authorized Ruiz and two engineers to represent the MOP, review, approve or reject partial payments for work progress in three megaprojects: the road reordering in Panama City, the widening of the road Domingo Díaz (via Tocumen) and Cinta Costera  3.

The road reordering plan, which included the construction of vehicular steps, interchanges, asphalt and multi-way bagging, was awarded for $1.5 billion.

Conalvías obtained one of the contracts, for $21 million.

The expansion of Domingo Díaz, was by the ICA-Meco consortium, was awarded for $237 million, Cinta Costera  3, executed by Odebrecht, was for $780 million.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/interpol-red-alert-blue-apple-suspect

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Business groups eye sanctions for Blue Apple members

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PANAMA’S Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (Cciap) and the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (Capac)  have instructed their ethics committees to decide on  possible sanctions that may be applied to the member companies of involved in the Blue Apple investigation  of  bribes paid by contractors of the State in exchange for the streamlining of administrative procedures for the execution of the work and the disbursement of money.

The Capac says that it has no interference in commercial activities of its members, but to regulate relationships between companies, and the State and civil society, it approved a code of conduct.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/business-groups-eye-sanctions-blue-apple-members

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Varela promises “consequences” for  Blue Apple suspects

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President Juan Carlos Varela
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President Juan Carlos Varela has finally spoken out about the Blue Apple bribery scandal while a number of the fingered contractors are still doing business with the government according to media reports.

He warned that those State contractors investigated for alleged acts of corruption, must “accept their responsibility” or abide by the consequences.

He made the statement, at a public event, on  Friday, January 19 when asked about the builders linked to the Blue Apple case, involving the payment of bribes to government officials by State contractors reports La Prensa.

Over 30 people are under investigation and am Interpol Red Alert has been issued for at least one suspect.

“If a company does not accept its responsibility, of coursethe Executive will make specific decisions as we have done before, “said the president.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/varela-promises-consequences-blue-apple-suspects

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OFF THE CUFF: Jobs override corruption

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Jobs come first
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Several contractors who were involved in the Blue Apple scandal have rushed to make deals with prosecutors to avoid jail time, and civic bodies railing against impunity are not likely to see them lose current State contracts.

On Friday. Jan. 19 President Juan Carlos Varela told journalists who questioned contracts that investigated companies still have with the State: “My role is to protect works and jobs. I will not leave or abandoned works nor will I affect 40,000 Panamanian construction workers “.

But  he warned that the Executive would take actions if any of the companies do not accept their  responsibility in  the Panama bribery scandal with over $46 million in a fund to pay off government officials and gain government funding foe multi-billion dollar contracts,

“The most important thing here is to congratulate the Public Ministry, which continues to recover patrimony, and also  I understand that there are people accepting their responsibility, which is positive-  accept your responsibility instead of blaming someone for the “mistakes” that were made, he said.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/columns/the-cuff/off-cuff-jobs-override-corruption

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Blue Apple donated to PRD presidential bid

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Juan Carlos Navarro
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Juan Carlos Navarro, the PRD presidential hopeful in the 2014 presidential campaign, received a $20,000 donation from the Blue Apple company that is now the center of a major corruption investigation.

This was stated in the sworn statement of contributions delivered to the Electoral Tribunal (TE), by Navarro, in July 2014 and ratified by his spokesman Max Bedoya, reports La Prensa.

The legal representative of Blue Apple was the lawyer Federico Barrios, who is in preventive detention as part of the investigation of the case by the Sixth Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutors are following the trail of alleged payment of bribes and other acts of corruption by contractors of the Panamanian State who belonged to the Blue Apple bribery structure created to pay off government officials.

On February 21 of last year, the PRD published in its Twitter network the list of people who contributed to the campaign, in the midst of the national debate over the investigation by the Public Ministry, after the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht admitted having bribed Panamanian officials, Navarro explained

Another of the donors to the PRD campaign who appears on the list is Joaquín Rodríguez Salcedo, also in detention over the Blue Apple case. He donated $5,000.

Rodriguez Salcedo, former vice president of Factoring and Surety of Global Bank, has been charged with alleged  money laundering and other offenses

Navarro’s spokesman, Bedoya, confirmed that the campaign of the PRD received, on March 20, 2012, a check from Blue Apple Services.

“At the moment of receiving the contribution, we proceeded to issue a donation receipt to the aforementioned company, as was done with all donations received by the campaign. A copy of the check and the respective donation receipt was also sent to the Electoral Tribunal ” said Bedoya.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/blue-apple-donated-prd-presidential-bid

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“Blue Apple” red alert  suspect arrested

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With an Interpol red alert hanging over his head Jorge Churro Ruiz, Director of Contracts Administration at the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) during the administration of Federico José Suárez, was arrested on Tuesday, January 30, when he arrived in Panama by air.

He  was taken to  the Seventh Anti-corruption, Prosecutor’s Office which is

which handling the Blue Apple case, over the alleged payment of bribes by State contractors between 2011 and 2012.

He joins three others linked to the investigation already in preventive detention: lawyer Federico Barrios and his wife Ana Mercedes Briones, and Joaquín Rodríguez Salcedo, Former Director of Factoring and Bonds of Global Bank.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/blue-apple-red-alert-suspect-arrested

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Martinelli sons face  Blue Apple probe

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Martinelli sons center of bribery probe
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THE SONS,  of former president Ricardo Martinelli, already deeply embroiled in the  Odebrecht bribery scandal and other criminal investigations are now the target of another probe.

Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares are in the sights of the Sixth Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, which is investigating the alleged payment of bribes by contractors to obtain State contracts in the case known as Blue Apple.

To investigate them, the prosecution has asked the  Electoral Court to lift the immunity they have after being nominated in the election of district boards of the Democratic Change (CD) Party which will be carried out from March until June,  delaying the call to justice for many high profile figures from the previous administration facing corruption charges.

La Prensa sources linked to the case said that the prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez will ask for assistance from  Switzerland and Andorra to seize accounts.

New elements have come to light in the Blue Apple case, as the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor seeks to determine whether  State contractors paid bribes to officials and people close to the past government for multi-million dollar projects.

Prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez requested the Eighteenth Criminal Court to declare the investigation complex in order to as the term it has to investigate expires on March 11.

To support his request, Vásquez appealed to Law 121 of 2013, which adopts measures to combat organized crime.

Judge Baloisa Marquínez, , will have to decide on accepting Vásquez’s request.

Another of those under investigation is María Lee, wife of Jorge Ruiz, former director of Contracts Administration of the Ministry of Public Works, who is detained preventively. Lee was investigated and has a precautionary measure of periodic notification and impediment of leaving the country without judicial authorization.

The prosecution is also looking for Génesis de Gracia, a collaborator of Federico Barrios, creator of the Blue Apple scam, who is in detention. De Gracia has not been found, and the prosecution ha asked Interpol to issue an alert

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-sons-face-blue-apple-probe

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Blue Apple central  banking figure exits jail cell

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Joaquín Rodríguez Salcedo heading for his initial interrogation
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A CENTRAL figure in the Blue Apple bribery investigation has been released from preventive detention to “country arrest” which means he cannot leave the country and must report to authorities at stated intervals.

The plenum of the Supreme Court of granted a habeas corpus to  Joaquín Rodríguez Salcedo, under investigation by the Sixth  Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office Although the Supreme Court favored him with a change of measure, it also ruled that his preventive detention issued by the Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office was legal.

Rodríguez Salcedo, who is the son-in-law of  PRD lawmaker, Elías Castillo, was incarcerated in El Renacer prison from  January 5 after completing his initial interrogation.

At the time of his arrest, he was Vice President of Factoring and Surety of Global Bank and is linked to the investigation because, he supposedly, made factoring contracts between Global Factor and government contractors guaranteeing with an invoice or accounts receivable with the State.

The investigations focus on which contractors of the Ministry of Public Works paid bribes through the company Blue Apple Services, Inc., supposedly in exchange for expediting procedures and disbursements for work during the  Ricardo Martinelli government.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/blue-apple-central-banking-figure-exits-jail-cell

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Meco makes Blue Apple collaboration  deal

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Bribes were a "misunderstanding"
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The Costa Rican construction company MECO signed a collaboration agreement with the Sixth Prosecutor’s Office, investigating the “Blue Apple” bribery scandal.

The deal was, to avoid a trial in a case of payment of gifts to Panamanian officials. Carlos Cerdas Araya, president of Constructora MECO, earlier told La Nación that everything is about “a misunderstanding. ”

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, MECO and seven other construction companies would have turned over $40 million in bribes, between 2011 and 2012, to senior officials of the Ministry of Public Works of Panama to change or streamline procedures and disbursements for the progress of public infrastructure projects.

The monies were deposited, in agreement with the Panamanian authorities, into accounts and banking services of the Blue Apple Service limited company and, once there, they were transferred to other corporations in Hong Kong, the United States, and the British Virgin Islands.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/meco-makes-blue-apple-collaboration-deal

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Blue Apple kick-back case in suspension

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THE BLUE APPLE  scandal is the latest high profile corruption case to sit in the doldrums as defense lawyers use their skills to delay or obstruct justice for government employees on the take, and “entrepreneurs” seeking juicy state contracts.

The Public Ministry (MP) reiterated on Sunday, May 20, 2018, that the case, has been suspended for two months.

“More than two months have passed since the so-called Blue Apple investigation was suspended

even though the court granted it a “complex” case and extended the term of investigation for six months, “said the sixth superior anti-corruption prosecutor, Aurelio Vásquez, who leads the investigation.

Vásquez said  that the defense announced and filed an appeal, which was admitted by the court, but “in effect that suspends the investigation.”

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/blue-apple-kick-back-case-in-suspension

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$40 million “Blue Apple” back on track

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The process was paralyzed since last April, when one of the accused interposed an appeal before the Second Court of Justice. This case is related to a group of companies that maintained state contracts and had to pay bribes; otherwise, getting paid for the progress of the projects would be more difficult.

The bribes, according to the judicial investigation, were  made through the company Blue Apple Services, S.A. (BAS)

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/40-million-blue-apple-case-nack-on-track

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Marta Martinelli testified in Prosecutor's Office for Blue Apple case

Thu, 09/06/2018 - 14:55

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Former First Lady Marta Linares, wife of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, said yesterday at the Prosecutor's Office concerning  the alleged payment of bribes involving local and foreign companies, that her family is a victim of a "persecution".

The appearance of Linares on Thursday before the Sixth Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office for the case known as Blue Apple was "a procedure of investigative statement," the former first lady's defense attorney, Roniel Ortega, told reporters.

The lawyer recalled that Linares was sumoned "for being mentioned" in the Blue Apple case.

Upon her appearance at the Prosecutor's Office on Thursday, Linares stressed that she has headed the foundation since October 2016, while the facts investigated date back to 2012, so she is not involved "either by any manner or time".

Linares said that the foundation also received no money linked to the Blue Apple case, which was ratified by the defense attorney.

Ortiz said that "it is certified that the foundation did not receive a single penny from Blue Apple", and regretted that Linares is subjected to this type of situation at times when she has "been pressured due to the issue of her husband, the persecution of her children".

"These persecutions should not exist, the law should flow without pressure," said the lawyer, while Linares said she is linked to the Blue Apple case only because her last name is Martinelli.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/marta-martinelli-testified-prosecutors-office-blue-apple-case-7785

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Former Minister Federico Suarez Arrested for Blue Apple case

Juan Manuel Díaz 12 Oct 2018 - 22:47

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The former Minister of Public Works, Federico Pepe Suárez was arrested, on the night of this Friday, October 12, by the National Police in compliance with the driving order issued by the Sixth Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office within the process for money laundering in the case of Blue Apple

The former government official, presided over by Ricardo Martinelli, was arrested at the Embassy Club development, located in Clayton. According to the prosecutor's inquiries, the former minister received about $ 330,000 from Blue Apple Services Inc., which collected $ 40.6 million of supposed bribes paid by state contractors.

According to the Public Ministry, the money came to an account of Inmobiliaria GS del Mar, S.A., in Metrobank, linked to Suárez.

This Thursday, the eighteenth criminal judge, Ana María Aznarán, denied the former minister a bail request not to be detained in this case.

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Walls closing in on Martinelli sons

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Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares
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Panama’s Sixth Anti-Corruption Prosecutor has  an estate linked to Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares , the fugitive son of the former president as part of the investigations related to the payment of bribes by contractors, in exchange for public projects, in the “Blue Apple” investigation.

Knowledgeable sources revealed to La Prensa that the property is on the coast below Colon where he planned to build an urban beach project. The prosecution will move to the site to perform a visual inspection.

Luis Enrique, is the  son of ex-president  Ricardo Martinelli  and is under  investigation for  crimes against the public administration.

Luis Enrique – like his brother Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares – is in Miami, on   a million dollars bail after two weeks  behind bars for remaining in the United States after their  visa was canceled in 2017.

In the Blue Apple, case Luis Enrique has faced , since October, a red Interpol arrest alert, when he did not appear before the prosecutor’s office. both brothers already have – a red alert in the  Odebrecht bribes investigation.

The two brothers  are connected to Blue Apple, because two companies with which they have links would have served as a “basket” to receive bribes. The Supreme Court of has denied them an appeal for constitutional guarantees that sought to cancel a request from the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor of the Odebrecht case to withdraw both of their the electoral criminal safety blanket.

The Court ruled after almost a year that the prosecution asked the Electoral Tribunal in December 2017   to withdraw the jurisdiction. At that time – the Cambio Democrático party, to which they belong, held internal elections.

To dodge arrest Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique were postulated to several positions for  election, although they were not in the country and their whereabouts were unknown.

On December 27, they have a hearing in Miami to resolve their immigration status.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/walls-closing-in-on-martinelli

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Blue Apple linchpin will remain behind bars

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Federico Barrios
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Lawyer Federico Barrios  a central player in the Blue Apple case in which millions of dollars allegedly landed in the pockets of government officials to enable contractors to obtain profitable deals will stay behind bars following a Supreme Court ruling that deemed him a flight risk

On October 30 the Court denied him a writ of habeas corpus, declaring his detention legal and did not approve the replacement of the caution.

Barrios has been detained since  January 4 under investigation for money laundering.

He is linked as the legal representative of Blue Apple Services, the company that moved millions of dollars to corrupt officials in the Ricardo Martinelli administration. The sons of the ex-president are also linked to the case.

Magistrate Luis Mario Carrasco, the rapporteur of the ruling, indicated that added to the serious injury to the State, there is a risk of flight because last year, Barrios traveled abroad 15 times.

The ruling was by a majority vote from 7 to 2. José Ayú Prado and Asunción Alonso issued a salvage vote by not agreeing with the decision. Ayú Prado has disagreed with previous rulings involving the Martinelli brothers.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/blue-apple-linchpin-will-remain-behind-bars

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Plea deal in Blue Apple $78.3 million Bribery Scam

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Atelio Vasquez

Posted 04/02/2019
 
A key player in the Blue Apple bribery scandal that cost Panama $tate nearly $80 million will be jailed for over five years following a plea bargain.

Blue Apple was a basket company created to receive bribes from companies that tendered with the State in the 2009-2014 period.

Another 60 suspects including high profile figures in the previous administration and    the two sons of former  president Ricardo Martinelli  are facing trial

The Sixth Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office and Edward Domínguez agreed on a 66-month prison sentence, as part of the case.

In the pact, validated by the Eighteenth Criminal Court, Dominguez gave details of his participation in the scam

According to the investigation of t sixth anti-corruption prosecutor, Aurelio Vásquez, the Blue Apple company transferred funds to companies controlled by Domínguez, who later gave the cash to two of the actors in the plot: Federico Barrios, legal representative of Blue Apple; and Joaquín Rodríguez Salcedo, former vice president of Factoring of Global Bank.

He changed about $3 million,.and for each transaction, received between 1% and 3%. Dominguez admitted to money laundering and is currently in custody.

Dominguez is one of the 61 accused in the investigation. worked at the University of Panama, where he earned $ 700 per month. But, was a lynchpin in the chain of bribes created by lawyer Federico Barrios, representative of the Blue Apple company, and banker Joaquín Rodríguez Salcedo

Dominguez, the husband of a niece of Salcedo, had the task of changing checks received in a personal capacity and through two companies of which he was legal representative.

According to the Public Ministry, he would have changed at least $3 million. The is cash was returned to Barrios and Rodríguez Salcedo, funds that would have been used to pay bribes.

For each transaction, Domínguez earned between 1% and 3%.

In a press conference, prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez said he is preparing the fiscal hearing to request the trial of the 61 accused. He revealed that through the company Blue Apple, a possible patrimonial injury of $78.3 million was detected, of which $ 33.6 million has been recovered reports La Prensa.

Dishonor roll
Among those investigated are Federico Suárez, former Minister of Public Works (MOP); Jorge Churro Ruiz, former MOP Director of Contracts; Rodríguez Salcedo and Barrios; Ex MOP Minister Jaime Ford; Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli, sons of Ricardo Martinelli; Giácomo Tamburrelli, former director of the now-defunct National Aid Program; Sergio González Ruiz, former president of MOLIRENA, a party that was an ally of the CD part Cambio Democrático in the last government.

Another is Kristelle Getzler, who served as Secretary of Economic Affairs and is the wife of former Minister of Finance Frank De Lima.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/plea-deal-in-blue-apple-783-million-bribery-scam

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Fugitive Martinelli sons among Blue Apple suspects

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EX-MINISTER Pepe Suarex

Posted 27/06/2019

Panama’s  Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office has concluded the investigation of the Blue Apple case which involves 60 high profile figures in the previous administration including the two sons of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli.

The prosecutor is drafting the fiscal hearing, to be sent to the 18th  Criminal Court where an application for a trial appeal is awaited.

More than 60 people have been investigated for money laundering, of more than $78.3 million. Including the former Minister of Public Works, Federico "Pepe" Suárez and the Martinelli sons.

The investigation has revealed that during the previous government, the Blue Apple company was created to funnel money for  bribes, to speed up procedures of public contracts with the State.

Subsequently the money was deposited with other participating companies.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/fugitive-martinelli-sons-among-blue-apple-suspects

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59 heading for trial in $78,3  construction bribery scam

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Marta Martinelli and Sons

Posted 14/09/2019

The anti-corruption prosecutor has asked  the Fiscal Court to call  to trial r 59 suspects  involved  in the Blue Apple case , regarding payment of bribes to officials by state contractors.

The announcement was made by the Public Ministry  on Friday September 13,  nut no names were released

The Office of the Attorney General announced that on Monday it will report on this investigation for alleged money laundering, which was declared a complex case .

The investigation  opened in September 2017 when a “basket” company was detected, presumably created in order to receive bribes paid by state contractors in exchange for speeding up payments for projects assigned during the Ricardo Martinelli  administration between 2009 and 2014.

In  February, the prosecution reported that through the Blue Apple company a possible property injury of $78.3 million was detected, of which $ 33.6 million has been recovered.

The investigations have identified the main protagonists  as  Federico José Suárez , former Minister of Public Works (MOP);  Jorge Churro Ruiz , former Director of Contract Administration of the MOP; Joaquín Rodríguez Salcedo, former Vice President of Factoring at Global Bank; Federico Barrios, lawyer for Blue Apple Services, and  Luis Enrique  and  Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares ,  and former First Lady Marta Linares de Martinelli, reports  La Prensa.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/59-heading-for-trial-in-783-construction-bribery-scam

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