Corruption in Puerto Quetzal Concession Denounced

The Public Ministry of Guatemala has announced that its investigations have shown that a network of illicit laundering of money and other assets operated in the port terminal.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Consideration is being given to canceling the contract with the concessionaire Container Terminal Spanish Quetzal after the denouncement that it paid bribes to Perez Molina for the award of the terminal.

From a statement issued by the Public Ministry of Guatemala:

Joint research has allowed for the deconstruction of a structure operating in Container Terminal Quetzal

In a coordinated effort between the Public Ministry, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala and the Ministry of the Interior it has been established that at the Container Terminal Quetzal (TCQ) an illicit network of laundering of money and other assets was in operation, in which the names of ex president Otto Pérez Molina and ex vice president Roxana Baldetti stand out.

At a press conference the General Prosecutor of the Republic and Head of the Public Ministry, Thelma Aldana, the International Commissioner against Impunity, Ivan Velasquez, and the Minister of the Interior, Francisco Rivas, revealed details of the raids on Friday that led to captures and collection of evidence.

TCQ and the Port of Quetzal had signed a 25 year renewable contract for an area of ​​34 hectares on which it was to build and operate the new terminal, which had envisaged three phases of development and which would have involved an investment of at least $255 million.

Read full report (in spanish).

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More on this topic

Quetzal Container Terminal to Start Operations Soon

August 2016

Following the authorization granted to TCQ by the Superintendency of Tax Administration to function as a temporary customs warehouse, its entry into operations for October has been announced.

An article in Prensalibre.com reports that   "...The auditor of the TCQ, Alexander Aizenstatd said that with the authorization published in Diario de Centro América on Friday, an intermediate stage has started where there a link is formed with the authorities of the SAT, in order to subsequently ask for the entry into operation. 'Closer ties have now been made with the National Port Commission for certification and following this a certification will be requested for the Marina. The plan is for the TCQ to be operational at the end of September, or beginning of October. ' "

Guatemala: Big Business Owners Prosecuted for Corruption

June 2016

The Public Prosecutor and the CICIG have denounced cooptation of the state through a network of corruption headed by Pérez Molina and Roxana Baldetti and arrest warrants have been issued including for very high level entrepreneurs.

Among the employers that the CICIG has linked to this case are Flavio Montenegro, president and manager of Banco G & T Continental, Adolfo Fernando Peña of Banrural, Enrique Castellanos, general manager of Claro, and Alvaro Mayorga Giron, former president of the CACIF, among others.

Puerto Quetzal Taken Over

June 2016

The Public Prosecutor in Guatemala has taken control of Terminal de Contenedores Quetzal, in order to audit the company and decide on the future of the concession.

The decision to intervene came after the public prosecutor revealed the existence of indications that the terminal was operating an illegal network to launder money and other assets.

From a statement issued by the Public Ministry of Guatemala:

The Public Prosecutor and the Head of the Public Ministry, Thelma Aldana, revealed at a press conference, that the Court of Forfeiture had been asked to take control of Terminal de Contenedores Quetzal –TCQ-, a request which was ruled on favorably.

"We have requested the takeover from the Judge for Forfeiture and appointed an auditor, and the judicial petition was ruled on favourably. The intervention will be headed by lawyer Alexander Aizenstatd, who now has possession in order to start his duties," the Attorney General said.
He also explained that on July 11, 2012 the contract between Terminal de Puerto Quetzal and TCQ was finalised, the latter is a corporation, which was incorporated emergently in order to simulate a usufruct contract.

Maersk Group could be the Concessionaire of Puerto Quetzal

April 2016

The acquisition of TCB by APM Terminals means that any dispute concerning the granting of Puerto Quetzal will involve the largest group in the world in the maritime sector, the Maersk shipping company.

Following the Public Ministry's denouncement of the existence of an illicit money laundering network operating in the Container Terminal at Quetzal , the government of Jimmy Morales is torn between declaring void the concession contract with the current operator, TCB, as recommended by the Attorney General's Office on several occasions, or making other arrangements with the company. The Morales government may have to negotiate with the Danish giant Maersk Group, which bought 100% of the shares of the Spanish TCB in October 2015, according to an article on Elperiodico.com.gt.

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