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Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and Its Board-Level Corruption Probes / Prosecutions

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Canal board member cited over illegal contract

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ANOTHER member of the Board of directors of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), has been brought under the spotlight for alleged illegal practices.

The National Authority of Transparency and Access to Information (Antai) is investigating Lourdes Castillo, for her links to the company Pele System, Inc., a company that during the Martinelli administration obtained a contract with the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) to inspect merchant navy ships.

The information became public on Tuesday, February 6 in a note sent by Angelica Maytin, director of Antai, to, Roberto Roy, president of the ACP board.

Maytin reminded Roy that Law 19 of 1997, which governs the ACP and prohibits members of its board of directors to conclude contracts with the ACP “or with institutions linked to it, such as is the case of the AMP. ”

She requests “a report on the result of the actions that are taken with dispatch”



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Foot Dragging Over Fugitive Canal Directors

Corcione and MIzrachi
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Two months after promising to evaluate the situation President Juan Carlos Varela has taken no action over the future of two directors  of the Panama Canal (ACP)  who are under criminal investigation

Nicolás Corcione and Henri Mizrachi in addition to not fulfilling their functions as members of the  board of directors, as they have not attended meetings  are being investigated by the Prosecutors against Organized Crime for possible money laundering, in the “New Business” case in the purchase of the Panama America publishing group, reports La Prensa.

Varela promised to obtain a report to know what actions can be taken.

An  ACP  Law, says that it is the responsibility of the President with the agreement of the  Cabinet Council and the National Assembly, to suspend or remove from office those involved in a fraudulent crime or against the public administration.

Corcione and Mizrachi, appointed by ex-president  Ricardo Martinelli have not attended meetings for at least eight months.

The Organized Crime prosecutor’s office has asked Interpol for their  arrest, as part of the investigation into  of money laundering in the New Business case

related to the alleged use of public funds to buy The Panama America publishing group.

According to ACP reports, the last time Mizrachi attended board meetings was

on June 19, 2017, while Corcione appeared on August 10 of that same year.

On December 5, President Varela said that the future of Corcione and Mizrachi would be evaluated. In order to “protect the image and legal structures of the ACP, He said he would request a report from the Presidency legal team.

The National Transparency Authority  (Antai) has requested a report of the attendance of Corcione and Mizrachi, It was sent by  Antai director  Angelica Maytin, to ACP president Roberto Roy, and asked for their attendance records since 2015.



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Varela stalls action on Canal crime suspects

Varela: No time to address ACP directors issue.
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President  Juan Carlos Varela has still not found time to review the future of two board members of the Panama Canal under criminal investigation but plans to squeeze in a meeting with  Pope Francis in New York.

Nicolás Corcione and  Henri Mizrachi are under investigation for  alleged money laundering.

Arriving at a conference  on water issues in Panama  he dodged questions from media: “I can only speak about water” he said  and promised a statement “when I get back from travel.”

Varela is traveling to the United States for the UN General Assembly.

He said he will take the opportunity to see Pope Francis, who is also visiting the US. The 2019  World Youth Day in Panama a likely discussion point and is high on Varela’s agenda. Varela is a member of Opus Dei.

Meanwhile, he wants to talk with other ACP directors  “I want a debate because we have to take the decision together” said Varela.

A 1997 law gives the president the authority  to fire directors engaged in criminal activity or who do not show up for board meetings for an extended period,



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Panama Canal Board Member Level Corruption Probes / Prosecutions
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Arrest warrants outstanding for no-show Canal directors

Corcione, Mizrachi, and Castillo
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Nicolás Corcione and Henri Mizrachi, directors of The Panama Canal Authority (ACP), both with outstanding  arrest warrants issued by  Organized Crime prosecutors have not attended board meetings  advisory boards or committees For  almost seven and nine months, respectively,  says a note sent to the National Authority of Transparency and Access to Information (Antai), on March 2.

Their  whereabouts are unknown, and the  arrest warrants were at the request of The First Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime, are  part of the investigation of the so-calledNew Business case, about the alleged use of  public funds to acquire the shares of Editora Panamá America, S.A. (Epasa), in the last government.

The Antai, director Angélica Maytín, had requested information from Roberto Roy, president of the ACP board .about the absences of Corcione and Mizrachi. He responded that the last participation of Corcione was on August 10, 2017, in a meeting of the modernization and extension committee. Mizrachi, meanwhile, was last seen on June 19, at a meeting of the finance committee.

Corcione has been a member of the board since March 2010 and Mizrachi, since February of 2013.

Roy also responded to Maytin about Lourdes Castillo, also a member of the board of directors

whom the Antai investigates administratively for its links with Pele System, Inc., a company that in the last government obtained a contract for $22.1 million with the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) to inspect merchant marine vessels.

Roy alleged that the Constitution and the law attribute to the board of directors of the ACP to know the possible conflicts of interest that arise between the entity and its members, “as presumably occurs in the present case, interpreted in a sense administrative and not criminal “.

Roy said that the internal regulations of the general auditor of The ACP confers on it the power to carry out investigations and investigations requested by the board, the administrator or the sub-administrator, “as well as report their results to the board of directors, recommending the corresponding corrective actions“.



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Canal board member faces money laundering probe

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Accompanied by his lawyer Henri Mizrachi, a member of the board of directors of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP),  responded  to  a subpoena on Monday April 2 and arrived at the  First Specialized Office against Organized Crime, to explain his  participation in the in the New Business Case  involving the purchase of Editora Panamá América, S.A. (Epasa), believed to be under the control of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli.

Prosecutors are investigating the possible commission of the crime of money laundering.

According to the investigations, the purchase of Epasa was made with public funds, during the government of Martinelli (2009-2014).



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President slow to act on fugitive Canal board member

Nicolas-Corcione-... red alert
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PANAMA President Juan Carlos Varela appears to be avoiding the issue of a fugitive member of the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal facing an outstanding Interpol  Red Alert.

Nicolás Corcione,  a construction entrepreneur has been summoned numerous times to appear for interrogation in several criminal cases, but while initially protected by his status as a board member, his no-shows at meetings mean that he can be dismissed and his immunity lifted.

In December Varela, said that “the  Panama Canal is a very important asset of the State [so] we must protect its image and legal structures.”

Corcionne still has to provide explanations about the contract for the construction of the new headquarters of the National Assembly (AN) and money from this project that was deposited in bank accounts, whose funds were used to buy the Editora Panamá América (Epasa).

The money was part of an advance of funds for the work, agreed in the contract between the AN and Grupo Corcione and Associates, S.A. However, not everything was used for this purpose, reports La Prensa.

At least a million dollars ended up in a bank account of the foreign company N ew Business. Ltd., where other  State contractors contributed millions of dollars for the purchase of the publisher of the newspapers Panamá América and Crítica, and whose ownership is attributed to ex-president Ricardo Martinelli.

In past statements,  Corcionne maintained that this was a legitimate purchase of shares of the newspaper company, but the investigations point to other purposes, according to the reasoning of the Public Ministry, reports La Prensa.



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Varela moves to fire errant Canal directors

Corcione and Mizrachi face money laundering probe
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A CALL  from the director of Panama’s Transparency and Access to  Information body (Antai) for the removal of two delinquent directors from the board of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)l has spurred President Juan Carlos Varela to finally take action.

He announced on Tuesday, April 3 that the Cabinet Council that he would analyze the “steps to follow” for the removal of  Henri Mizrachi and Nicolás Corcione.

“We can not have two directorships of the Canal in suspension “, said Varela, adding that the Deputy Minister of the Presidency, Salvador Sánchez, will submit a report of the legal procedures to be followed to remove the two directors of the Canal. Varela’s long postponed announcement comes after Angelica Maytin the director of Antai asked him to remove Mizrachi and Corcione from the ACP for violating duties and functions within the entity.

Maytin supported her request with the fact that Corcione and Mizrachi have missed the meetings of the ACP directive on 73 and 52 occasions, respectively.

Both are under investigation by the First Specialized Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime in the New Business case, related to money laundering transactions to buy the Editora Panamá group America, S.A. (Epasa), presumably with public funds.

Corcione has fled the country and is the target of an Interpol Red Alert.

The letter sent by Maytin points out that the product of their “evident administrative incapacity” and based on Article 20 of Law No. 19 of 1997, organized by the ACP, both directors must be removed.



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OPINION:Time to throw the bums out

Corcione and Mizrachi
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For at least, two years we have been waiting for a strong pronouncement from the President of the Republic on the permanence in the board of directors of the Canal Authority of Panama by Nicolás Corcione and Henri Mizrachi, appointed by the former president Ricardo Martinelli.

Both managers not only face criminal cases for the alleged commission of such serious crimes, as money laundering but have also not fulfilled their functions when absent from the meetings of the board of directors and its decisions multiple times.

The Canal is the most important state-owned company in our economy and, therefore its directors have the obligation to guarantee, in addition to their participation in its decisions, the highest moral solvency in their actions. The decision of the Council of Cabinet to endorse the recommendation of the National Authority of Transparency and Access to Information (Antai) for Corcione and Mizrachi to be removed from the Canal directive is correct and deserves citizen support. It is now the responsibility of the National  Assembly to demonstrate with deeds and not with empty speeches its position in the fight against corruption and in favor of transparency… LA PRENSA, Mar 4



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and Its Board-Level Corruption Probes / Prosecutions
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Investigation of ACP Board member declared legal

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The Second Superior Court of Justice has confirmed the decision of the Eighteenth Criminal Court that it is legal for the Prosecutor against organized crime to investigate   Nicolás Corcione a member of the Board of the Panama Canal (ACP). in the case called New Business, related to transactions for the purchase of the Editorial Epasa group, allegedly y with public funds.

According to the court ruling, issued on April 13, Banesco’s records indicate that the Grupo Clio, S.A., debited $1 million in favor of New Business Services Ltd. and that The transaction was authorized by Nicolás and José Corcione.

The defense had alleged that the payment made by the Clio Group, S.A., to the company New Business Services Ltd. was a legal operation, motivated by the desire of Corcione, a businessman of “recognized trajectory “, of investing in the purchase of shares of a means of communication.



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