Haitian President says he fights corruption while chief of staff and secretary are accused of embezzlement

Posted by hougansydney.com on Monday, November 13, 2017 Under: Corruptions
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Despite the numerous public statements by Haitian President Jovenel Moise that his administration is fighting corruption at all levels of government, two of his cabinet's most senior officials have just been recommended by a Senate committee last week to be pursued on many serious corruption charges.

Wilson Laleau, former finance minister, who is now the chief of staff of the president; and Yves Germain Joseph, the secretary general of the presidency, are among those accused of "misappropriation or waste of public funds, confiscation, extortion, embezzlement or dissipation and evasion of public funds" in a damning report of more than 450 pages, which concluded that the management of the so-called "Petrocaribe" funds was a "large-scale state fraud". Petrocaribe is the name of the loan program launched in 2006 by Hugo Chavez for the benefit of several Latin American and Caribbean countries that buy oil products from Venezuela.

Petrocaribe's savings are supposed to fund social projects, but the use of this money has been largely abusive and illegal according to the Senators who say they are determined to chart an example once and for all.

The president's chief of staff, Wilson Laleau, has already been involved in a corruption scandal; while he was Minister of Finance. The Panama Papers case concerning Haiti that was published on April 27, 2016 by the Miami Herald showed how the number two of the Minister of Finance under Laleau, Andy René had created several secret offshore companies in Panama to personally benefit from an oil transaction between Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago. One of the companies created by Andy René, Proteus Holdings S.A.,  received the contract to transport the oil that Haiti was buying from Trinidad and Tobago. This obscure company required the approval of the Minister of Finance.

What kind of quid pro quo was exchanged between Andy Rene and Wilson Laleau for this new and unknown company to receive one of the most important contracts of the Haitian state at the time?

The answer to this question may never be known, as an official inquiry into the Panama Papers documents concerning Haiti, launched by the Haitian senate, had reached nowhere.

This gives us ample reason to believe that the investigation of the Petrocaribe funds by the Haitian Senate will come to nothing either.

In : Corruptions