PANAMA Town – US prosecutors have charged two sons of previous Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli in connection with bribery and revenue laundering connected to Brazilian development agency Odebrecht, according to a federal complaint unsealed on Monday.
Luis Enrique Martinelli, 38, and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli, 40, were arrested earlier in the working day in Guatemala Metropolis as they attempted to board a flight to Panama, and facial area extradition to the United States, Guatemala’s law enforcement mentioned in a assertion.
A Martinelli loved ones spokesman did not quickly reply to a ask for for comment on the prices.
But the family members explained in a assertion next the arrest that it was doing the job to make sure the sons have lawful support in Guatemala and are able to transfer the proceedings to Panama.
Odebrecht has been at the center of a significantly-reaching Latin American corruption scandal uncovered in 2014, in which the company compensated more than $700 million in bribes to federal government officials in a variety of nations around the world.
The US Office of Justice claimed in a assertion the Martinelli sons are accused of acquiring been intermediaries for the payment of about $28 million in bribes from Odebrecht to a higher-position Panama official in between 2009 and 2014, the period in which their father was in business office.
The legal criticism submitted in the federal court docket in Brooklyn, New York, on June 27, described the brothers as “close relatives” of the formal, without the need of furnishing further more detail.
The criticism also alleges that the pair managed mystery financial institution accounts beneath shell enterprise names to aid payment of the bribes, with a lot of transactions produced as a result of US banking institutions.
Former President Martinelli and his successor, Juan Carlos Varela, have been last 7 days banned from leaving Panama when under investigation for funds laundering in individual corruption cases.