Nancy Vacaflor writes for Pagina Siete:
Defense accuses the Chief of Enabol with Prosecutor’s Office for the barges case
The Minister of Defense, Ruben Saavedra, denounced irregularities in the process of acquisition of 18 barges to the highest executive authority of the Bolivian shipping company (Enabol), Marcelo Ballesteros, and five others.
The announcement was made yesterday by the Minister Saavedra himself. “(the accusation is) fundamentally against the highest executive authority” of Enabol, responsible for the signing of the contract with the Chinese company GMB for the acquisition of naval equipment.
Enabol paid in advance, for 16 barges and two tugs, $25.9 million and three million, also in advance, for the transport.
Barges should have arrived on November 27, 2011, according to the fifth extension on the delivery deadline, but so far remain in Chinese shipyards.
Saavedra said in total, there are five officials of Enabol that were reported, including Ballesteros, who until Tuesday was identified as Manager and is the highest executive authority in the company.
The complaint also includes a foreigner, from which his name is not known, suspected to be a Chinese citizen who works in the local office.
An external audit commissioned by the Ministry of Defense established that there were breaches “administrative” and “criminal” for the payment of 100% to the Chinese company prior to receiving the goods acquired.
The Ministry filed until now two complaints by the fact the prosecution: the first against two officials of Enabol by the crimes of “wasteful conduct and breach of duties”, and the second for “ideological falsehood” against the company’s other three officers and against the foreigner.
The Prosecutor’s Office already assigned a Prosecutor to investigate these complaints, submitted on July 6 and 11.
It was also met known that the 18 barges are interdicted and there was no warranty ballot on the two tugs.
The Defense Minister did not rule out that findings arising out of the auditing product, will assign responsibilities against other officials or people linked during the recruitment.
He explained that with the external audit, there was made a revision of the agreement, the method of payment, the guarantees presented by the company, the provisional acceptance of the 16 barges which took place in March 2011 on a port of China and other elements.
He also said that copies of the complaint that was made were submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office to the fight against corruption, Nardi Suxo, Minister and State Attorney, Hugo Montero.
18 Ships should carry out the Mutún iron transport tasks, to be driven by the Paraguay – Paraná waterway towards the Atlantic. They also had to perform social tasks in the Bolivian Amazon rivers.