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Crime

Ecuadorian delegation submits report on Alex Saab and the Sucre System to Colombia

The report claims that Alex Saab is responsible for a corruption scheme that allowed him to launder millions of dollars through the Sucre System

Mural de Alex Saab en Caracas
Culminan mural a favor de Alex Saab, presunto testaferro de Maduro, en el centro de Caracas | Twitter @PedroKonductaz

January 12, 2022 5:05pm

Updated: January 14, 2022 6:58am

A delegation of Ecuadorian legislators on Tuesday sent a report to the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, accusing Alex Saab of a corruption scheme. According to the report, Saab, Nicolás Maduro's front man, laundered millions of dollars through the Regional Compensation System of Payments (Sucre).

"In the Oversight Commission we undertook a crusade for ethics to combat transnational crimes. Today we delivered the report of the Alex Saab case to the President of Colombia, Ivan Duque," said the Commission of Oversight and Political Control of the National Assembly of Ecuador on Twitter.

The investigation was led by the president of the Commission, Fernando Villavicencio, one of the main opponents of former President Rafael Correa. 

After Saab's extradition from Cape Verde to the United States on October 16, 2021, the vice-president of the Oversight Commission, Ana Belén Cordero, spoke about opening an investigation into the case involving Foglocons (Global Construction Fund), a company owned by Alex Saab and Álvaro Pulido.

After a month of investigations, the report was approved by the Audit Committee on December 13, 2021.

The document contains relevant information for Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and the United States. Therefore, the Ecuadorian Commission will try to forward it to the prosecutors' offices and authorities of those countries.

The 125-page report details the findings of the implementation of the Sucre System, which seeks to facilitate foreign trade and was adopted in 2008 by the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).

The document concludes that a transnational criminal network used the Sucre system to obtain dollars from the international reserve of the Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE) and finance fictitious export operations of questioned companies from Ecuador to Venezuela.

"Fictitious exports. Smoke was being exported. 2,679 million dollars were laundered," Bruno Segovia, a member of the Ecuadorian National Assembly, told Voice of America on Monday.

Foglocons is the company that made the most in "unusual operations" through Sucre. The Commission assures that part of the money was directed to banks in Florida, to tax havens, and was even used for Rafael Correa's electoral campaign in 2013.

The last accusation was rejected by the party of the former Ecuadorian president and his representatives in the legislature, describing it as an "ideological falsehood."

"Everything must be investigated here. We cannot support a report that is loaded with hatred, frustration, and bias," said Roberto Cuero, a member of the legislative bloc of UNES, a political coalition that supports Correa, in December.

Saab has been detained in the United States since November 2021 and charged by Washington with conspiracy to launder money in connection with the Maduro regime. The Colombian pleaded not guilty before the U.S. court.