Latin America Enforcement Report – September 2015
Monday, September 14, 2015 at 7:52AM
Lucas Zanoni in LLatin America, enforcement report

Here are some highlights from Latin American about corruption, enforcement, and compliance through August 2015.

Argentina: Three former employees of the Argentinian Mint (Casa de La Moneda) and a representative of the German company Atlantic Zeiser were sentenced to prison for an overpricing scheme, in which the SOE’s employees took bribes to award contracts for the purchase of technical equipment.

Main opposition candidate Mauricio Macri, chief executive of the City of Buenos Aires, is being investigated for contracts with a company owned by Fernando Niembro, a famous sports journalist and one of the current leaders of the PRO (Republican Proposal), the party founded by the conservative leader. Niembro's company, La Usina, allegedly received $2.5 million to conduct surveys and manage advertising contracts.

According to Transparency International’s Exporting Corruption report, Argentina was the only LatAm country where the enforcement level regressed.

Chile: The prosecutor's office accused 19 people of tax offenses and violations of donation laws related to corruption cases involving two large conglomerates, the Penta group and the miner SQM.

The Chilean army admitted missing several million dollars on fictitious purchases of military equipment.

Colombia: The governor of Cundinamarca, Alvaro Cruz, resigned from his position after being accused by the prosecutor’s office in a corruption scandal in Bogota. Cruz allegedly paid bribes to city officials in exchange for contracts valued at $ 7.8 million. The case is known as the "contract carousel."

The Attorney General's Office arrested six immigration officers following complaints about altered entry and exit records of travelers at Eldorado International Airport in Bogota. The defendant was allegedly part of a criminal network involved in forging documents, covering up criminal backgrounds, human trafficking, and others.

Guatemala: The La Linea scandal continues. President Otto Pérez Molina resigned on September 3 and will face charges in the customs scandal that has destroyed his government and mobilized ordinary citizens to protest against the sleaze. The day before, the national congress stripped Molina of immunity from prosecution.
Molina, 64,  had been in office since January 2012.

Honduras: Protesters demanded the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez and the installation of a UN commission to investigate corruption. Hernandez allegedly diverted more than $330 million from the social security fund.

Panama: A former regional director of SAP International Inc., Vicente Eduardo Garcia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing Panamanian officials to win government technology contracts for SAP. The prosecutor’s office started an official investigation.

Former director of the Superintendencia del Mercado de Valores de Panamá (SVM), Ignacio Fabrega, a fugitive since March, surrendered to authorities and will be tried for corruption. He has implicated former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) in a scheme involving Financial Pacific (FP), a brokerage firm that's now under liquidation.

Peru: The Basel Institute on Governance, which assists in recovering illegally obtained assets, announced the opening of an office in Lima, a project supported by the Swiss government.

Uruguay: The State Insurance Bank (BSE) fired five of its experts and filed criminal charges against them for running an alleged corruption network that inflated appraisals of damaged vehicles between 100% and 200%.

Venezuela: The governor of Miranda state, Henrique Capriles, accused the Minister for Food, Carlos Osorio, of being involved in corruption with food imports to the country.

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Lucas Zanoni is an undergraduate student of law at University of São Paulo and a legal intern in the compliance and anti-bribery team of Chediak Advogados. The firm offers legal assistance for both Brazilian and international clients across different industries and business sectors.

Article originally appeared on The FCPA Blog (http://www.fcpablog.com/).
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