Panama president values corruption scandal involving predecessor at nearly $100 million
PANAMA CITY — Panama may have lost nearly $100 million to government corruption during the administration of President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), his successor said in an interview published Wednesday.
Martinelli, who has been out of the country for three months, is currently under investigation by the Supreme Court for alleged involvement in inflating government contracts by $45 million.
Several former ministers, senior government officials, businessmen and a judge have either been jailed or face trial for alleged corruption and illegal enrichment.
“The figure for patrimonial loss, which is in the process of being recovered, could be nearing $100 million,” President Juan Carlos Varela said in an interview with the newspaper La Prensa.
Varela said the tally could rise further as investigators uncover the full extent of the corruption.
Some of the worst cases have been traced to an aid program for disadvantaged school children, a tax company and the administration of parking facilities at Panama’s Tocumen International Airport.
Martinelli has said on repeated occasions that he and his party are victims of “political persecution” by Varela.
You may be interested
Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Monday, May 10The Tico Times - May 11, 2021
There are 1,280 people in Costa Rica hospitalized with Covid-19, a new record, the Health Ministry said in its Monday…
Costa Rica announces few new restrictions in face of saturated hospitalsAlejandro Zúñiga - May 10, 2021
Costa Rica on Monday announced new measures to address the saturation of its public health system due to Covid-19. Commercial…