US rates ex-Panama president’s sons with bribery, money laundering

US charges ex-Panama president's sons with bribery, money laundering

PANAMA Town – US prosecutors have billed two sons of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli in connection with bribery and income laundering linked to Brazilian construction business Odebrecht, in accordance to a federal complaint unsealed on Monday.

Luis Enrique Martinelli, 38, and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli, 40, were being arrested previously in the working day in Guatemala City as they tried to board a flight to Panama, and facial area extradition to the United States, Guatemala’s police reported in a assertion.

A Martinelli family members spokesman did not instantly reply to a ask for for comment on the charges.

But the relatives explained in a assertion next the arrest that it was working to guarantee the sons have authorized assistance in Guatemala and are in a position to transfer the proceedings to Panama.

Odebrecht has been at the middle of a far-achieving Latin American corruption scandal uncovered in 2014, in which the firm paid out more than $700 million in bribes to federal government officers in various countries.

The US Section of Justice explained in a statement the Martinelli sons are accused of acquiring been intermediaries for the payment of about $28 million in bribes from Odebrecht to a substantial-position Panama official between 2009 and 2014, the period of time in which their father was in workplace.

The criminal criticism submitted in the federal court docket in Brooklyn, New York, on June 27, explained the brothers as “close relatives” of the formal, devoid of giving more element.

The complaint also alleges that the pair managed key bank accounts underneath shell business names to aid payment of the bribes, with quite a few transactions created through US banking companies.

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Previous President Martinelli and his successor, Juan Carlos Varela, had been last 7 days banned from leaving Panama though below investigation for cash laundering in different corruption scenarios.

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