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Terminal corruption in Ecuador

Half of $4.9 billion meant for five oil-related infrastructure projects lost to corruption

Mathew Healy, PortandTerminal.com, January 8, 2019

Quito, Ecudaor – Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno demanded the country’s prosecutor to probe $4.9 billion of oil-related infrastructure projects, alleging that the OPEC nation’s money was looted during the decade-long tenure of his leftist predecessor Rafael Correa.

Moreno said Thursday night in a message to the nation that an independent international audit found nearly $2.5 billion destined for works in two refineries, as well as the construction of an oil terminal, one natural gas plant and one pipeline, was lost to corruption, Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno.

“Nearly $5 billion of Ecuadoreans’ money, when it should have cost half that,” Moreno said in the national broadcast. “This theft of public funds cannot go unpunished.”

Former President Rafael Correa has called the accusations of corruption a “smear campaign” against him

Correa has denied allegations of corruption in his administration, calling them a political smear campaign. He lives in Belgium and has not returned to Ecuador since a judge last year ordered that he be jailed as part of a case involving the kidnapping of a lawmaker, in which he denies involvement.

The other projects Moreno mentioned during the broadcast included a natural gas liquefaction plant, a seaport, a fuel distribution center, a pipeline and a partly-built refinery that has run out of financing after receiving some $1.5 billion in investment.

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