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  • Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno is accused of being involved in corrupt offshore deals by an opposition lawmaker.

    Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno is accused of being involved in corrupt offshore deals by an opposition lawmaker. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 March 2019

Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno is facing a corruption probe relating to an offshore company, details of which were sent to an opposition lawmaker anonymously. 

Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno who is facing a corruption probe brought forward by an opposition lawmaker, relating to an offshore company in a case of illicit enrichment.

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Lawmaker Ronny Aleaga told reporters that he received a dossier anonymously filled with documents that will implicate Lenin Moreno and his family in alleged crimes of corruption, perjury and money laundering.

The documents are known as the “INA Papers” that links Moreno and the Chinese company Sinohydro that built the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric dam, which, according to the lawmaker, deposited US$18 million in the offshore company Recorsa.

Recorsa is linked to Ecuadorean businessman Conto Patiño Martinez who transferred money to more than 10 ghost companies in Panama including INA Investments Corp, whose real owner is  Edwin Moreno Garces, brother of President Lenin Moreno, according to the leaked documents.

The leaks also show that Moreno Garces established a company in 2012 in Belize. The company was named INA Investment, in honor of the president’s three daughters, Irina, Cristina, and Karina.

Edwin Moreno claims that he left the company in 2013 but an investigative report by local newspaper La Fuente discovered that in March 2015, he had asked that his name to be kept out of company documents and be replaced with Maria Patiño Herdoiza, according to documents obtained from the law firm Mendoza Arias Valle & Castillo.

Aleaga alleges that the real owners of the INA is the Moreno family, while its official owners are just figureheads in an attempt to conceal the president's connection to the offshore company. 

Aleaga requested that the Office of the General Prosecutor of Ecuador start an investigation into Moreno. The office has already opened a preliminary review into the manner and has summoned the president to testify n a hearing scheduled on April 4.

Meanwhile, the president is pushing back against the accusations saying the leaks are part of a smear campaign against his government because Aleaga is a member of the Citizen Revolution, a political institute founded by former President Rafael Correa, who has been an outspoken critic of Moreno's presidency and policies which Correa says have betrayed the platform upon which Moreno was elected.

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