Friday, October 30, 2020

Director general of the UN’s migration agency Vitorino linked to €35 million Spanish corruption case

-

According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, corruption investigators allege that a consultancy firm owned by Vitorino and his wife was involved in handling some of the €35 million diverted from Venezuelan state oil and gas company PDVSA about 10 years ago.

The former head of PDVSA, Juan Carlos Márquez, was found hanged in Madrid last July shortly after arriving in Spain to give evidence to investigators.

The case, according to El Mundo, alleges that Raúl Morodo, Spain’s ambassador to Venezuela from 2004-2007, and his son fraudulently took funds from PDVSA in collaboration with Márquez and another Venezuelan. The money was then funnelled via front companies and banks in Panama, Switzerland, and Spain to his son, Alejo Morodo, the two Venezuelan accomplices, and their wives.

According to El Mundo, Vitorino’s Portugal-registered firm – Emab Consultores, Lda – is alleged to have received payments connected to the affair from the Morodo family, that were allegedly “lacking any commercial logic and justification” and were “hidden from the Spanish treasury”.

- Advertisement -

Vitorino was elected head of the IOM in June 2018 and took up the post that October. The IOM is one of the largest UN humanitarian agencies, with a staff of about 11,000 and a budget of $1.8 billion in 2018. His role includes steering IOM during the humanitarian response to the crisis in Venezuela, where an economic meltdown has led to the emigration of millions.

In a statement received by email on Tuesday, following questions from TNH, Vitorino said he had not been informed officially and denied any connection to the affair.

“I herewith clarify that I have not received at any time, any communication from the Spanish authorities related to an investigation involving a consultancy company I was a managing partner of, and whose activities have been suspended since 2018,” Vitorino said.

“Never were these services related with Venezuela, which means that it is absolutely incorrect to establish a connection between the company and an alleged embezzlement of Euro 35 million as referred to in the news,” the statement continued.

- Advertisement -

“I firmly refute the allegations made in this respect and intend to use all means at my disposal to restore my reputation, the reputation of my wife as well as the reputation of the company.”

Payments made between 2008 and 2012 from PDVSA under fictitious invoices were routed to bank accounts and companies controlled by the Morodo family and the wives of Márquez and the other Venezuelan, Carlos Adolfo Prada. About €14 million went to property, and other funds were withdrawn as cash and are untraced, according to El Mundo.

Prior to leading the IOM, Vitorino served as deputy to UN Secretary-General António Guterres when the latter was prime minister of Portugal. Vitorino’s political career was interrupted when he was accused – but later cleared – of tax evasion in 1997. He was subsequently an EU commissioner, from 1999 to 2004.

Source: thenewhumanitarian.org

MUST READ

FirstEnergy fires CEO, other executives over Ohio bribery scandal

FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO amid multiple federal investigations related to an Ohio nuclear bailout law passed year. The Akron-based utility company announced in a...

Ukraine’s court strips critical power from anti-corruption agency

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has stripped the country’s anti-corruption agency of some of its critical powers. The high court’s ruling published on October 28 declared it...

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak sent back to prison for 17 years in corruption case

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was ordered back to prison on Thursday (Oct 29) as the country's Supreme Court upheld a 17-year jail...

Nigerian court declines to issue international arrest warrant for fugitive ex-Petroleum Minister in corruption case

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, refused an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an arrest...

South Korea’s former Vice Justice Minister sentenced to jail for bribery and sexual favors

Former Vice Justice Minister Kim Hak-eui, the figure at the center of one of Korea’s biggest political sex scandals, was placed under pretrial detention...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Former DEA spokesman sentenced to 7 years for posing as CIA agent to scam $4 million

A former spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was sentenced to 7 years in prison Wednesday for posing as a CIA agent on...

Operators of fake theology school accused of stealing $12 million in student aid

Six people from three states are charged with defrauding $12 million from federal student aid programs by allegedly enrolling students into a theology school...

Namibia probes oil firm Acer petroleum over bribes paid to government officials

THE mines and energy ministry says it is investigating allegations that an oil company bribed some senior officials to fast-track licence applications. The senior officials...

Judge opposed dismissal of bribery charge against former Portage mayor Synder

A judge denied Thursday two motions to dismiss a soliciting bribes charge former Portage Mayor James Snyder will be retried on, according to court...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks