Guatemalan Ex-President Linked to New Scandal

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 0:19 AM

In exchange, Grupo TCQ Terminal de Contenedores Quetzal got to construct the terminal at the Pacific coast location of Puerto Quetzal and keep a 25-year concession to work it worth $225 million, authorities said.

Former Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and his then-vice president led a criminal structure that collected at minimum million in bribes to award a contract to construct a harbour terminal, the country'south attorney common and an international anti-corruption commission announced Friday.

In exchange, Grupo TCQ Terminal de Contenedores Quetzal got to construct the terminal at the Pacific coast location of Puerto Quetzal and keep a 25-year concession to work it worth $225 million, authorities said. Perez Molina signed the contract with the Spanish firm in two thousand-thirteenth while he was president.

"Since Perez Molina was elected in November two thousand eleven, the paperwork for this project started quickly," said Attorney Common Thelma Aldana. "A criminal grouping formed ... having Otto Perez Molina and Roxana Baldetti as this structure's leaders."

Judge Miguel Angel Galvez called for Perez Molina and former vice president Roxana Baldetti to show up on money laundering charges next week.

A son-in-law of Perez Molina was detained Friday for allegedly participating in the scheme, as well as Juan Jose Suarez, manager for the company TCQ.

Perez Molina is behind bars and faces charges of permitting and benefiting from a ring that defrauded the state of millions of dollars. Businesses allegedly paid kickbacks to executive in exchange for lower import duties.

Perez Molina has said he's innocent of the charges.

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