PRESS RELEASE 073 | Photo: CICIG.
Today, in joint operations in the Guatemala and Santa Rosa departments, the Special Anti-Impunity Prosecutor’s Bureau(FECI) of the Attorney General’s Office, with the support of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), executed several search and arrest warrants authorized by the Twelfth Court of Criminal Instance.
SEARCH WARRANTS, SEARCHES, AND SEIZURE OF PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL DOCUMENTS OF THE FOLLOWING COMPANIES:
- Protección Metropolitana, S.A.
- Security Professional Systems, Sociedad Anónima/Seguridad y Sistemas.
- Seguridad, Control y Vigilancia, S.A.
- Protección Élite De Guatemala/Seguridad y Protección Total S.A.
- Investigaciones y Seguridad Profesional I.S.P.
- CARLOS ROBERTO PAZ REYNOSO: Captured.
- CARLOS HERLINDO QUINTANILLA VILLEGAS: Captured.
- MARIO ENRIQUE VARGAS SALAZAR: Arrest warrant pending.
- OSCAR ALEJANDRO ROSSI ARCHILA: Captured.
- OTTO RENÉ BERNAL OVANDO: Captured.
- ANTONIO PICHÉ RUIZ: Arrest warrant pending.
- REINA MARÍA GÓMEZ GONZÁLEZ: Captured.
- ROBERTO ANTONIO ROBLES REYES: Arrest warrantpending.
- EDGAR ROLANDO MÉNDEZ MORALES: Arrest warrantpending.
- EDIE RODOLFO JIMÉNEZ MIJANGOS: Arrest warrant pending.
- LUIS ALFONSO GÓMEZ GONZÁLEZ: Fugitive since February 2018.
- RUDY LEONEL MALDONADO CASTILLO: Fugitive since February 2018.
- JUAN MIGUEL BERNAL RAMOS
Early in 2018 FECI and CICIG unvelied the Transurbano case, which shed light on irregularities in the pre-payment system of the public transportation system Transurbano. That investigation has now been deepen looking into the management of the subsidy to implement a security system.
In 2008 and 2009,officials of the Association of City Bus Enterprises (AEAU), recommended Government Officials of the Alvaro Colom Administration to deploy a security system for the public transportation network TRANSURBANO – public buses were severely affected by extortion, theft and violence. This security system would be financially supported by a public subsidy to AEAU. The Government approved the subsidies and the security system began to operate in the last months of 2008 and throughout 2009.
Following the establishment of the new security subsidy, a group of people including businessmen from the transportation and private security sectors obtained more than eighty million Quetzales from the State to promote the Public Transport Security Project. A significant proportion of this amount would have ended up in the hands of members of such group, while only a portion would have been used according to the purposes of the Project.
The criminal network
Once the security subsidy was approved, AEAU officers and the security company Protección Metropolitana S.A. signed — unilaterally and disregarding the regulation on State Contracts –several contracts for the provision of security services, including the outsourcing to other security companies.
The investigation shows that, to exercise control over the funding, the criminal network — including representatives of the AEAU and Protección Metropolitana, S.A. — opened several bank accounts to manage the funds.With a view to hide the theft public funds, the criminal network reported to the General Comptroller’s office false information on the alleged provision of transport security services.
The State of Guatemala assigned the amount of Q80,119,000.00 to the security subsity. So far, the investigation has proved that at least Q17,700,000.00 were subtracted by the criminal network.The investigation has also determined that the criminal network used the financial resources to buy real estate and air crafts.
This case unveiled a corruption scheme on the public transport security project, which is an essential aspect of the citizens’ well being.