(CNN Spanish) — The Ecuadorian Prosecutor’s Office reported this Friday that various raids were carried out in Quito and Guayaquil at the homes of people who are being investigated for an alleged corruption plot within various state companies.
The investigation was called by the Prosecutor’s Office the “Encuentro Case” and covers the public companies Petroecuador, the National Electricity Corporation, the Ecuadorian Oil Fleet and the Ecuadorian Electric Corporation, according to previous reports from the Prosecutor’s Office.
According to the institution, eight simultaneous raids were carried out in Guayaquil and one in Quito at the places of residence of the people investigated.
“In the procedure, various pieces of evidence were collected, such as documents, storage devices, cell phones, computers, jewelry, among other elements that will be appraised and valued during the development of the investigation,” the Prosecutor’s Office reported on its Twitter account.
The Ecuadorian Police, which also participated in the raids, indicated that these actions are intended to “gather evidence that will allow the clarification of possible links to an alleged network of corruption.”
After the raids, the Communications Secretariat of the Presidency called a press conference to rule on these operations. The Minister of Government, Francisco Jiménez, insisted that the Government is in favor of “investigating what has to be investigated” and rejected the possibility that there is a network of corruption within state companies.
“There is no criminal plot or structure in the government of Ecuador. The Police acted with absolute independence and the Government confirms that it will continue to collaborate with the Prosecutor’s Office and the justice authorities to fully clarify the facts under investigation,” Minister Jiménez emphasized. .
The Minister of the Interior, Juan Zapata, reported that the Police are complying with legal provisions and orders for surveillance and monitoring of people with the support of the institution’s intelligence department. He added that the case is handled by the Attorney General’s Office and that at the moment some data is kept confidential, so he did not agree to give more details.
Regarding the name that the Prosecutor’s Office has given to this process as “Encuentro Case” and in response to the consultation on whether this name causes discomfort in the Government of President Guillermo Lasso, who has promoted the slogan “Meeting Government”, the Secretary of the Administration Pública, Iván Correa, indicated that this is not important at this time.
“The definition of the name is not important, the important thing is that the facts are clarified, those responsible are found and that justice acts; that is what all Ecuadorians should take precedence,” Correa pointed out.
Lasso asked his officials to collaborate in the investigations
The Presidency of the Republic of Ecuador published last week two letters signed by President Guillermo Lasso and sent to the Prosecutor’s Office in which he asked his officials to collaborate in the investigations into the alleged corruption plot in public companies.
The first letter was published on January 15 and in it Lasso requests that the Prosecutor’s Office act with “absolute transparency and strict adherence to the law.” In addition, he reported that he had ordered the Anti-Corruption Secretariat to investigate.
“I have ordered the Executive offices that are required by the State Prosecutor’s Office to deliver all the information that is necessary for it to move forward and conclude the aforementioned prior investigation as soon as possible,” Lasso requested.
In a second letter published on January 16, the president asked the Police and the Interior Ministry to take the necessary actions to locate two people mentioned in an audio recording of an alleged discussion between an official and a man over alleged contract payments. and appointments in state entities.
“I will not tolerate any act of corruption in my government, wherever it occurs,” insisted Lasso.