Daily Archives: July 13, 2012

Bidding awards made by YPFB will be investigated for evidence of corruption

Another sign of corruption or at least bad management or lack thereof, this time in the top state-owned hydrocarbon company: YPFB (the pride of current government’s nationalization policy).

El Diario reports:

It is in doubt the transparency of the procurement process to build the separator plants of liquids of Rio Grande and Gran Chaco, after it was discovered that two senior executives of Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), now in prison, are charged with abuse of public goods, illicit enrichment and laundering of illicit profits and other crimes.

According to Santa Cruz newspaper El Día, the public prosecutor will review allocations for more than $770 million dollars. Taking into account that the Gran Chaco plant has a cost of $608 million and the Rio Grande plant $163 million dollars.

It’s about Gerson Rojas Teran, former national liquids separation plant manager, who according to his own testimony had the confidence of the President of the Company [YPFB], Carlos Villegas; and Agustín Ugarte Méndez, Member of the qualifying [bidding] Commission. The first is in Palmasola and the second in a cell of the special forces of fight against crime (Felcc).

According to ANF, with data from the El Deber newspaper, the anti-corruption Commission of prosecutors included about twenty people who are members of the separation of liquids plants projects qualifying Commission.

In the vehicle and in offices of Gerson Rojas, former National Manager of liquids separation plant, prosecutors and the police found documents that reveal him as the holder of the Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz safety deposit boxes, which were shared with Agustín Javier Ugarte Méndez, Gran Chaco project director. In one of them found $90,000, the other was empty, but the Prosecutor’s Office found manuscripts by amounts approximately to $400,000.

This Committee formed by Carlos Candia and Anuncio Pierola, under the direction and supervision of the national anti-corruption Coordinator, Norma Olmos Gonzales, also extended investigations to representatives of the companies that participated in the bidding, including Pentechs, EASA and a German company. The citations for the investigated persons to declare were already prepared for delivery.

Candia said that Gerson Richard Rojas Teran, former National Manager of separation plant liquids, and Agustín Javier Ugarte Méndez, great Chaco project director and senior member of the rating Committee, already with warrant of arrest at the Palmasola prison. The first due to improper use of property of the State and the other for illicit enrichment, abuse of benefits by reason of the position and other influences.

Prosecutors expressed that both YPFB executives maintained a close relationship of friendship and according to findings, they have increased the amounts on the bidding points in order to favor themselves with thousands of dollars. “Nothing else means that they have safe deposit boxes in banks where every day, it was growing at an alarming rate, their heritage with money from the State,” said Candia.

RELATIONSHIP WITH VILLEGAS

The deposed Manager of plants of separation of liquids of Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), Gerson Rojas, syndicated by misuse of property of the State and illicit enrichment, said in his informative statement that day that he hit a State car, he was in official function because he managed the purchase of land, task coordinated with the President of the State oil company, Carlos Villegas.

El Deber had access to the Act of disclosure statement of Rojas, stating verbatim in two parts: “that day (June 17) was at a Commission in Bulo Bulo [chapare town], on the purchase of the land to put tubes for ammonia and urea plant”. “My person coordinates all purchase of land directly with Lic. Villegas and himself with the President of the Nation. “The previous Saturday, i.e. before June 17, 2012, in a similar Commission was an act of commitment with a villager on the purchase of 90 hectares to a Federation of coca growers unions, along these lines was this task”.

Later, Rojas emphasizes that since he started his functions, had direct dealings with Villegas, even above the National Vice President of operations, Mario Salazar. The statement is signed by Gerson Richard Rojas Teran, lawyer Lider Guzman Cabrera, Sergeant Gustavo Osinaga and Attorney Jaime David Canedo Encinas.

President Evo Morales complained, June 14 from Chimore, by the rise in the price of a hectare of land in the tropics of Cochabamba of $2,500 to $4,500 dollars, which would be damaging the installation of industries, such as the case of the ammonia plant and urea that plans to build in the town of Bulo Bulo, and which would generate 2,000 sources of employment in the future.

THE ORIGIN

The research has its origins on June 17, when Gerson Richard Rojas starred in a triple road accident at kilometer 94 of the road near Yapacani. The Prosecutor’s Office on the basis of reports established that Rojas was drunk in command of the station wagon model Toyota 2012, plate 2841-KKL valued at us $80,000, which was shattered [official vehicle].

After the accident, the man fleeds the scene and left abandoned the motorized, but this fact gives rise to a thorough investigation. In the vehicle and his office, prosecutors and police found documents that give away him as a holder of the Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz safety deposit boxes.

BANK BOXES

Richard Rojas bank’s boxes were shared with Ugarte. In one of them found $90,000, the other was empty but the Bank data provided to the Prosecutor’s Office say that money they withdrew before the raid. In the case the Prosecutor’s Office found manuscripts amounts approximately to $400,000.

http://www.eldiario.net/noticias/2012/2012_07/nt120711/economia.php?n=15&-adjudicaciones-hechas-por-ypfb-seran-investigadas-por-indicios-de-cor

This cartoon is also from El Diario, July 11, 2012:

You can see the head of YPFB and next door, the people in charge of the bidding processesses…

Early in this government, one Santos Ramirez, who was at the top, maybe only second to current President, is now purging time on a similar fraud… I just hope Bolivia gets rid of corruption and we start recuperating our exporting potential capacity, some seven years ago, we were ranked second in the gas export business in South America, and now we even have to buy diesel and gasoline…