Prosecutors yesterday raided six properties in Santa Cruz as part of their investigation into the phantom objects with the aim of arresting Antonio Parada, who is alleged to have caused harm to the state to at least 200 million Bolivians, and to gather information and documentation about him the crime that took place in the office of the mayor of Santa Cruz.
However, government minister Eduardo del Castillo announced yesterday afternoon that Parada had left the country, but not through the approved border points.
“We have unofficial knowledge that this person would be out of the country. We are conducting investigations to find out where this issue is going, ”said Del Castillo.
In the midst of the raids, Antonio’s sister, Marisabel Parada, was arrested to testify to prosecutors and released that afternoon. She and the other siblings of the defendant are, according to reports of the financial investigation, under suspicion of the disproportionate increase in wealth.
Meanwhile, the government, through the ministries and the presidents of the chambers of deputies and senators, has shown unusual interest in the case since the weekend.
Justice Minister Iván Lima said they would become plaintiffs, and even the House of Lords President Andrónico Rodríguez offered to set up a commission to follow up the investigation.
This alleged act of corruption was denounced on November 30th by the executive branch of the Santa Cruz government, Valeria Rodríguez, who accused her ex-husband Antonio Parada, former director of the personnel department of the Santa Cruz Mayor’s Office, of collecting 800 ghosts on several articles Years.
Special Crime Fighting Force (Felcc) agents went to the Alto Las Palmas residential complex in Santa Cruz with the prosecutor to conduct the search. A similar procedure was carried out in five other properties at the same time.
“It was possible to confiscate various documents that could be clues. This will be subject to the evaluation of the prosecution together with the police and investigators of the case, ”said prosecutor Marcela Terceros.
Among other things, third parties said that prosecutors had a photocopy of a receipt for the $ 180,000 transfer that Antonio Parada made to the United States.
The six properties are owned by Antonio Parada Vaca and some of his relatives. Until yesterday, the whereabouts of the other Parada brothers who have arrest warrants were unknown.
“Interest” from MAS
Chamber of Senators Andrónico Rodríguez reported this Tuesday that the formation of a Plurinational Legislative Assembly’s joint commission to investigate the case of ghost objects after receiving several inquiries from members of the Santa Cruz Congregation.
“There are motions from members of the Santa Cruz Assembly to form a mixed special commission of MPs and Senators so that we can participate in the investigation in a very responsible manner and in compliance with our regulatory agency, regardless of what the Department of Public Affairs is investigating” in this moment, ”he continued.
Rodríguez stressed that the corruption case takes place in a municipality where the political opposition has more support, both Governor Fernando Camacho and the mayors who held that position.
The contracts were for a year and they worked for a month
Santa Cruz City Councilor Manuel Saavedra declared the alleged modus operandi in the case of the ghost items. He said the hired people were asked to work in the Santa Cruz Mayor’s office for two months, they suggested billing one month and the other month the contacts would do it, but the contracts weren’t for two months but for a year. Therefore, the rest of the months were “irregularly” debited by debit card. He explained that the objects and the people exist, but in the structure of this “Mafia” embedded in the mayor’s office, that they are exempt from visiting their source of work and marking the map, as is normally the case in state institutions.
They contributed to the AFPs, they were affiliated with health insurance, and everything that makes up the staff of the Santa Cruz de la Sierra Autonomous Municipality.
“But at the time the contract was signed, it turns out that it was not two months, but twelve months. Then I picked up the debit card and handed it over and (it) charged (it) for the other 11 months and this is how this Mafia scheme worked, which worked for at least five years, ”said the city councilor.
He stated that it is possible to create this amount of “ghost items” if the bosses approve of them. Therefore, in his opinion, not only Antonio Parada is responsible for the “Mafia” formed there, but also other people who have to be identified.
He said it was necessary to “piece the puzzle together” and identify the immediate bosses.
Sosa asks for attribution
Former mayor of the Autonomous Municipality of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Angélica Sosa, assured that she would take over her defense against allegations of alleged irregularities in the recruitment of staff and asked for the names of those who profited from the “ghost objects” to be named .
He indicated that he would appear before the State Department to take on his defense and give his discharge report because I always “show my face,” he said.
He stated that an officer entering the Santa Cruz mayor’s office must take at least 52 steps, so “these ghost items must have a first and last name and be in the community’s work areas,” he said.