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News > Ecuador

Ecuador’s Energy Minister Investigated for Alleged Tax Havens

  • Current Ecuadorian Minister of Energy and Mines, Fernando Santos. Feb. 1, 2023.

    Current Ecuadorian Minister of Energy and Mines, Fernando Santos. Feb. 1, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@RecNaturalesEC

Published 1 February 2023

The action against the current Minister of Energy and Mines, Fernando Santos, resulted from a citizen complaint.

The Comptroller General of the State (CGE) of Ecuador is conducting special audits on tax havens, for which the period from 2017, when Santos held the position of Advisor 2 of the Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources, to the present, as Minister of Energy and Mines, must be reviewed.

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The complaint against the third Minister of Energy and Mines in the government of Guillermo Lasso was received on November 17, according to a CGE document shared by Radio Pichincha via Twitter. 

The document quotes the complaint as saying that "being a director and beneficiary of capital located in a tax haven since 2015, and having representation rights over companies with capital in tax havens, [Santos] could not be associated or perform as a public servant on March 23, 2020."

In this regard, the text adds that Santos would have been untruthful, since he declared under oath, at least on four occasions, that "he does not own, directly or indirectly, assets or capital in countries considered tax havens".

The Comptroller's Office confirmed that it initiated a special tax haven examination of Fernando Santos Alvite, current Minister of Energy.

Congresswoman Sofía Espin told the press last November that she had filed a complaint with the comptroller's office because Santos had offshore companies, a charge the minister denied.

Former Energy and Mines Minister Xavier Vera resigned after being placed under investigation for alleged bribery and the sale of public sector positions.  

The government of President Guillermo Lasso is under investigation for alleged corruption in public companies. According to a complaint by the digital media La Posta, the alleged corruption network demanded significant sums of money in exchange for positions or contracts in public companies.

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