Ecuador’s public prosecutor’s office has accused former president Lenin Moreno of corruption in the construction of a Chinese dam.

Coco Coto Sinclair Dam in Ecuador (Corporación Electrica del Ecuador)

Ecuador’s attorney general said Wednesday that his office would seek charges against the former president. Lenin Moreno And more than 30 people were allegedly involved in corruption related to the construction of the largest hydroelectric plant in the Andean country.

The government now has the necessary documents to request the National Court to investigate the alleged allegations in a preliminary investigation that began in March 2019. Bribery Against Moreno et al. 36 suspects, Attorney General Diana Salazar said.

In the investigation “Report A Corruption system Around the Koko Koto Sinclair Hydroelectric Project, with a purpose Interstate And Transnational “He would have carried out his illegal activities between 2009 and 2018,” Salazar said in a message posted on social networks.

Moreno denied the allegations. At a time when Ecuador is experiencing a complicated political situation, he said the prosecution’s activity surprised him.

“I have no responsibility nor am I responsible for the ‘most iconic’ work contract of the People’s Revolution,” Moreno said in a letter published on his Twitter account, referring to former President Rafael Correa’s political group.

“I will defend myself by strictly observing the truth”he added.

Koko Koto is a worker at the Sinclair hydroelectric plant (Reuters).

Moreno, who was president of Ecuador between 2017 and 2021 and vice president between 2007 and 2013, has said the charges against him were orchestrated by the former president. Rafael CorreaHis former mentor and later his opponent.

Moreno, who uses a wheelchair and has campaigned for the inclusion of disabled people since leaving office, now appears to be living. Paraguayan.

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Moreno’s wife, one of his daughters, two of his brothers and two sisters-in-law are among those connected to the case.

Lenin Moreno (REUTERS/Daniel Tapia)

Two former managers are also implicated in the case Coke Elbow Sinclair and two former legal representatives of the company China SinohydroResponsible for construction of hydroelectric power station, as well as public authorities.

“The alleged bribe amounts to approx 76 million dollarsThis corresponds to approximately 4% of the contract value of the work, which was initially approx 1,979 million dollars”, explained Salazar.

The final cost of the job has gone up 2.2 billion The dollars, the prosecutor said, were allegedly paid by Sinohydro and channeled through a third party.

Stock image. A view of the facilities at the Koko Koto Sinclair Hydroelectric Station (REUTERS/Daniel Tapia/).

The Sinohydro case broke out in 2019, when the press portal fountain Published the relevant investigation One of Moreno’s brothers is said to have accounts in tax havens and a luxury property in Alicante (Spain). In the transparent triangle of an opaque entity.

The press report revealed a series of connections and irregularities that linked Moreno to an “offshore” company. INA InvestmentsThis led to an initial investigation by the prosecutor’s office into bribes collected while he was Ecuador’s vice president.

1,500 MW capacity, Koko Koto Sinclair Hydroelectric Station Coco Riverbetween the Amazonian provinces Nabo And SuccumbiosAnd its infrastructure is in question as thousands of cracks appeared in its structure before it became operational in 2016.

In September 2022, state-owned Corporación Electrica del Ecuador (Celec), which opened international arbitration against Sinohydro, said it expected “the plant will not be definitively brought into technical and technical compliance until all non-conformities or failures are resolved”. legally established by contract.”

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(With information from Reuters and EFE)

Continue reading:

Bribery, Environmental Damage and Fear of Catastrophe: The Story of Coco Godo Sinclair, China’s Mega Dam in Ecuador
Coco Godo Sinclair, China’s mega-dam in Ecuador, is generating millions in losses.

Esmond Harmon

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