Fernando Villavicencio: ‘The Sucre system ended up being the largest money launderette in Latin America’ | Politics | News

The president of the Oversight Commission will present the report on the Sucre and Álex Saab system to the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the authorities in the United States

The president of the Assembly’s Supervision Commission, Fernando Villavicencio, explains the series of findings that have been made regarding the Sucre system and the alleged responsibilities of the Ecuadorian authorities in the matter.

What are the main findings, so far, within the investigation carried out by the Commission?

According to the information provided by five public institutions, including the Public Prosecutor’s Office, UAFE and the Central Bank, it is confirmed that the compensation system was not a regional ALBA project, but was practically a binational issue between Venezuela and Ecuador. And it worked because Ecuador has the dollar as its currency. No parity formula was generated between the other currencies. Thus the compensation system became the largest laundry of assets.

But was it the whole system or certain specific transactions of certain people and companies?

The entire system was contaminated, although there were companies that before the creation of Sucre had already maintained foreign trade relations with Venezuela, this system denatured them. Even serious companies ended up falling victim to the overbilling mechanism. For example, well-positioned tuna companies, between 2012 and 2014 saw their exports grow suddenly and when Sucre stops, their operations also drop radically. In addition, Ecuador suddenly appeared as an exporter of materials that it did not produce or in volumes greater than what it could actually supply.

During the appearances, the manager of the Central Bank has been heard that this treaty should be denounced so that it is totally unusable. What would be the route?

Although it is now on administrative pause, the complaint is part of the recommendations that I will suggest to be included in the report. That the Assembly present the initiative to denounce and suspend the validity of this treaty.

The prosecutor has insisted that the issue of Foglocons at the moment is res judicata, but ensures that there could be other doors to continue the investigation, how would it work in your opinion?

We will deliver the report on the investigation to both the Prosecutor’s Office and the US Justice authorities.With the Prosecutor’s Office we have the will to act in a unified manner and thus be able to identify other crimes. The prosecutor has said that the intellectual perpetrators of the crime have not been reached. It is very clear, there is no doubt that Sucre was a money laundering system, there are even sentences on the subject in the Coopera and Territorial case. Even in the Foglocons case, in which there was a dismissal, the prosecutor explains that it should have had a sentence, but that unfortunately there was a bad performance by the judges. So we have information that the Central Bank had all the instruments to control the flow of illicit resources, but it did not. Furthermore, we know that a resolution was repealed during the Pedro Delgado administration, when he was chairman of the ECB’s board of directors and that it demanded strict levels of control over the origin of the money.

So, at least the ECB authorities did not act as they should in the control?

They did not apply control. We have information that Jaime Sánchez Yánez, Correa’s advisor, held a meeting with former ECB president Diego Martínez on the Foglocons case in 2013, in order to pressure him not to comply with the legal actions against the companies. There are also indications that the ECB took money from the Reserve to advance payments to exporters. In other words, a company sold the product and the importer transferred only a part of the payment, but the ECB paid the entirety and then charged Venezuela. Compensations were given every six months.

What role does Jaime Sánchez Yánez play in this framework?

He is a citizen who reports being Venezuelan and who was placed as an advisor to Rafael Correa by Hugo Chávez. He is the brother of Luis Eduardo Sánchez, a 40% minority partner of Foglocons along with Álvaro Pulido Vargas, a drug trafficker for whom the US justice now offers $ 10 million. Both partners entered Ecuador several times on private planes owned by Álex Saab.

Mr. Luis Sánchez said that he had filed a lawsuit in Colombia on this issue. What is your position on this?

For a citizen accused of being part of a corruption scheme, for Álvaro Pulido’s partner to file a lawsuit with the president of the Ecuadorian Audit Commission is a decoration. It is very symptomatic that the correísmo in full applauds the demand. I have already said it, it only takes a hair for Rafael Correa to join Nicolás Maduro’s campaign for the freedom of Álex Saab. Supporting the lawsuit against me is supporting Álex Saab. (I)

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