World » Americas
Author`s name Dmitriy Sudakov

Skanska likely to be involved in a corruption scandal in Argentina

Buenos Aires courts investigate a bribing case. The company fired Latin American CEO presumably involved and closed the local branch. Prosecutors examined the offices of the Argentine Ministry of Planning.

If finally probed, a major corruption scandal could undermine Argentina’s President Nestor Kirchner bid to become reelected in October. Local courts examined the offices of the National Ministry of Planning last week to collect evidence in connection with a case of bribery filed last year by opposition lawmakers.

The case involves the Swedish giant Skanska, which has already fired its Latin American CEO and closed its operations in Argentina, because the local branch “did not comply with its standards of transparency worldwide”.

Deputy Adrian Perez, from the center-left party Alternative for a Republic of Equals, filed a case asking prosecutors to investigate bribes paid by the local branch of Skanska to officials at the National Ministry of Planning in connection with the expansion of a gas pipeline in the North of the country.

Perez based his suspects in a previous investigation carried on by local judge Javier Lopez Biscayart who investigates Skanska for tax evasion in the amount of 6 million pesos (about $2 million). Lopez Bicayart has already probed that Skanska paid that money to “ghost companies” that did not provide Skanska with any service at all.

Perez believes that money was used to pay bribes to certain officials at the Ministry of Planning, led by a close collaborator and friend of President Nestor Kirchner, Julio De Vido. Mr. De Vido has been accused by the opposition and the local independent press for several cases of corruption ranging from bribing to overpayment of services in public works.

Kirchner’s administration discredited accusations saying that the works were not conducted under the regular system of public tenders. In fact, funds came from private companies operating in the energy market as the local Transportadora Gas del Norte and the Spanish Repsol YPF.

However, the Ministry of Planning was in charge of the technical surveillance of the works, which were completed in February 2006. At first, works were funded by both private companies, but the money was later due to be paid by the Argentine State. As a probe of that, the Argentine anti-corruption office has requested the file and could act in the case.

The scandal erupted as an executive of one of the “ghost companies” involved in the case confessed that his invoices were used to paid bribes. This person has been arrested and Skanska’s head offices in Sweden decided to fire about half a dozen of its executives in Argentina.

Despite investigations of corruption in the handling of public funds are frequent in today’s Argentina, this is the first case that has reached national media coverage. Opposition leftist leader and a candidate for presidency in October elections Elisa Carrio has repeatedly said that “Kirchner’s administration is the most corrupt in history”. Skanska’s case could confirm his remarks.

Hernan Etchaleco
Pravda.ru

A year after the constitutional referendum of December 4th, 2016 that saw the victory of the NAY and the blatant defeat of the government front that had proposed the referendum, it can be said with certainty that the trauma for the defeated is now past. But there is still fear in them, not so hidden either...

Italy: Free fall

On December 10, 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, its thirty articles enshrining basic and fundamental rights guaranteeing dignity of the human person and equality for all, regardless of race, color, creed or gender. A pipe dream?

Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
Comments
USA looking for reason to see nuclear weapons in action
Why did Donald Trump recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Russia works on MiG-41 doomsday fighter jet
Russia works on MiG-41 doomsday fighter jet
Russia works on MiG-41 doomsday fighter jet
Mikhail Saakashvili's bumpy ride in politics: From chewing his tie to climbing on rooftop
Mikhail Saakashvili's bumpy ride in politics: From chewing his tie to climbing on rooftop
European Court of Human Rights: Promoting filth and insolence
European Court of Human Rights: Promoting filth and insolence
Russian athletes announce their decision about 2018 Winter Olympic Games
Turkish President Erdogan issues ultimatum to Washington and Brussels
Gorbachev names reason behind crisis in US-Russian relations
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
Pentagon can not accept Russia's victory over terrorists in Syria
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision