Imports of Chinese cement for commercialization not only had repercussions on the product market and the state bank, but the echoes of this scandal reached the Ministry of Finance and the Prosecutor’s Office.
Recently, the press revealed a series of events that call into question the process carried out by the company Sinocem to obtain a loan that would finance the purchase of the product, as well as a possible plot to not honor the debt.
The same import, which began in 2015, had already generated movements inside the General Customs Directorate, a body of the Ministry of Finance, where several officials were questioned about the process of nationalizing imports.
The Legal Department of Ministry confirmed that the office of Helio Fallas, hierarch of Finance and vice-president of the Republic, filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding the import of cement from China.
The Office of the Deputy Prosecutor for Economic, Tax, Customs and Intellectual Property Offenses confirmed that a case was being investigated in that office against Benito Coghi, former Director of Customs, who was allegedly involved in the incident.
The Prosecutor’s Office indicated that a search was already made for this case, but declined to provide more details based on the duty of confidentiality and privacy that the file has at the moment.
Coghi was removed from office in March.
According to data from the Ministry of Finance, under the jurisdiction and control of the Caldera Customs there are 276 packs of cement. None of them is under investigation, but 200 of them are now abandoned and are ready for destruction. The remaining 76 belong to an importer who did not declare them, but also showed no interest in nationalizing them.