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  • Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said his government will demand a tough investigation against corrupt officials.

    Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said his government will demand a tough investigation against corrupt officials. | Photo: Presidency of Ecuador

Published 22 January 2017

President Rafael Correa said he will expose corrupt business people who received bribes from the fraud-plagued Brazilian company Odebrecht.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said there will be more arrests in the corruption scandal involving officials in Brazil's largest construction company, Odebrecht, and the local state-run oil company Petroecuador, as investigations continue in both countries.

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Correa also said his government wants to uncover more information on the worldwide bribery scheme run by Odebrecht and which business people the company bribed.

"I am going to send a government delegation to Brazil because this is public information," said Correa.

The comments come after a former Odebrecht secretary in Ecuador published information about alleged corruption between 1987 and 1992.

"This secretary was fired and instead of destroying the papers where corruption was recorded, she took it to her house and presented them a few months ago in Brazil," the president added. "It has been discovered big cases of corruption."

Correa also said that from this data the government obtained a list of 18 names of "friends," or people related to Odebrecht officials in Ecuador, who were referred to by an alias.

"We continue to investigate, we will not allow these things to remain in impunity," said Correa. "Hopefully, the U.S. Department of Justice soon will give the names that Odebrecht gave, possibly coinciding with what we have here."

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Ecuador Detains Suspect in State Oil Company Corruption Case

Correa expelled Odebrecht from the country in 2008 after "technical irregularities" were discovered in the San Francisco hydroelectric plant project in the capital city of Quito, a project that began in 2000 under the presidency of Gustavo Noboa.

The company only came back in 2010 to fix the project as demanded by the Ecuadorean state, and paid US$55.7 million to do so, as well as US$20 million in fines since the plant had to stop producing energy for the Andean country.

Since then, the company has had five contracts in Ecuador, which have all been finished and audited by the country’s attorney general. The only current local contract by the company is underway with the right-wing administration in Quito.

Correa mentioned the progress of the investigations in Ecuador, and pointed out that among the people who may be linked to the Odebrecht case is a former advisor to the mayor of Quito, Mauricio Rodas, who has a transaction for US$6 million, and a candidate for the National Assembly who has US$30 million, both from opposition parties.

Odebrecht officials have been found guilty of corruption, leading a worldwide bribery scheme paying millions to "intermediaries" to secure contracts in a dozen countries. The international scheme also included international money laundering spanning the United States and Switzerland. Some of the companies working with Odebrecht were based in tax havens like Belize and the Virgin Islands.

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