Puerto Quetzal Intervention Suspended

One year after taking control of the Quetzal Container Terminal, the Guatemalan Public Ministry has ordered the end of the intervention process into the company.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Elperiodico.com.gt reports that "...The courts´s ruling was issued on Thursday, April 15 after a year and a few days of validity of the measure for the TCQ, a company which in the opinion of the prosecutors office was constituted in 2012 as an emerging corporation "to simulate a contract of usufruct" with the state-owned Empresa Portuaria Quetzal (EPQ)."

The decision to intervene was taken on June 4, 2016, after the Public Prosecutor's Office revealed the existence of indications that the terminal operated an illegal network for laundering money and other assets.

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Maersk Could Pay $43 million for Puerto Quetzal

July 2016

Maersk Group subsidiary have agreed to indemnify the state $43 million and sign a new concession contract in order to operate the Quetzal Container Terminal.

The agreement suggested by the auditor of the Quetzal Container Terminal (TCQ by its initials in Spanish), Alexander Aizenstatd, must be approved by the Guatemalan Congress.

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.

Guatemala: Port Concession At Risk

September 2015

The Attorney General's Office has recommended the onerous usufruct contract signed with the Spanish Terminal de Contenedores Quetzal be declared void.

If the Executive Branch does not declare it void, as recommended by the Attorney General's Office (PGN), this entity could "take appropriate action".

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