Meanwhile, Argentine authorities have launched several raids in succession, at least 16 Argentine business leaders and former government officials were arrested. Then the Argentine government announced that it was conducting an unprecedented large-scale corruption investigation.
Recently, Judge Bonadio, who was in charge of the case, demanded that the parliamentary immunity of the incumbent and former President Christina Fernandez be revoked. Fernandes will appear in court for questioning in August 13th.
This series of incidents undoubtedly dropped a blockbuster bomb on Argentinas political arena, and the Argentine political and business elites, who rarely get punished for corruption, began to feel alarmed. The source of the bomb and the core of the investigation were eight Secret Notebooks of a driver...
Senior official drivers undercover recording bribery details
According to the New York Times, Argentinas National Daily correspondent Diego Cabot received a sealed box containing eight spiral notebooks and various invoices, photographs, videos and other documents in January. He was shocked that the cheap notebooks used by ordinary students had documented in detail how Argentine business leaders bribed planning officials between 2005 and 2015 in exchange for the lucrative bits of public works.
The notebooks are owned by Oscar Senteno, a driver of Roberto Barata, a former deputy planning minister in Argentina. According to Bloomberg, during Kirchners presidency, Robert Barata was the deputy of former planning minister Julio De Vito, trusted by De Vito and Kirchner to issue public works contracts. De Vito was sent to prison last year for defrauding public funds.
Oscar, Santi, according to the Buenos Aires times.
Every bit of the journey was written down in his notebook in an undercover manner: where he drove every day, what time he saw someone, the amount of cash he had moved into Toyotas Carola, where it had been sent, how often the boss had gone to the gym, and so on. Details. In the 10 years from 2005 to 2015, the information was full of 8 notebooks.
As for why Senteno did this, his ex-wife Hilda Horowitz said in an August 2 interview that Sentenos aim was to use the notes as a bargaining chip to ensure that he could find a job after the Kirchner administration ended.
When the amount of bribes was more than two million dollars, Barata and De Vito would visit the presidential residence in person and give the money to the Kirchners. In the same way, he also recorded every time he sent money. Other pockets filled with cash were sent to the Kirchnersprivate residence on Hunkar Street in Recoleta, which was collected by former President Secretary Daniel Muoz.
According to the Buenos Aires Times report, according to the survey, Senteno recorded every person who went to the presidential palace to send money and the number of times, with the presidential palace official visitor records perfectly matched.
According to statistics, Barata has collected a large number of illegal bribes from at least 30 different places, and Sentenos Toyota sedan has delivered more than $53 million in cash. Argentinas authorities followed suit and found that the entire bribery scandal involved at least $160 million.
On Aug. 2, Senteno testified that the eight notes were his own. In September last year, he handed the sealed boxes containing the eight notebooks to his long-time friend, former federal police officer Jorge Bashigallupo.
One day, he came to me with a closed box and said, please, help me. I asked him, what is in the box? Then he told me it was his record for the work of balata. Lu Bo said last Friday. Centeno also told him that Baratta had been trying to get these notes back. In January 2018, Bashigallupo contacted the National reporter Kabot and handed him the box.
After receiving the notes, Capote and two other reporters spent months secretly writing a series of in-depth reports. Later, they handed over their notes to the judiciary. But because they did not want to rob the exclusive news and obstruct judicial justice, until the judiciary disclosed the relevant investigation, the National Daily in the wave of arrest, the story was made public.
Triggering a major earthquake in Argentinas political and business circles
Maybe balata didnt expect his driver to be so capable. However, there is no regret drug in the world.
The scandal of bribery notes is intensifying as the scandal of corruption has been exposed, triggering a strong earthquake in Argentinas political and business circles, involving not only the entire planning department, but also the executives of many giant companies. Argentinas economy, which is awaiting revival, has also been hit hard, with Argentine century bonds maturing in 2117 falling to an all-time low on August 8.
Some Argentines compare the case with the previous car wash action in Brazil. Car laundering is a massive corruption investigation involving billions of dollars in bribes, the largest corruption scandal in Brazilian history. The investigation led to more than 100 convictions, shaking Brazils elite, many of Brazils most powerful political and business leaders, including former President Louis Inacio Lula Da Silva, into jail.
Former Argentine government auditor general Leandro Deppswi said the case could be as large as Brazils shocking car-washing corruption investigation. Because with more witnesses joining in, more or less politicians will be involved.
An unnamed person told Reuters on the 6th that his cousin, former IECSA director of construction company, Angelo Calcatella, the current president, had been questioned by prosecutors the same day, telling them that several officials in the Christian government had mentioned him that it would cost him to get a public works contract.
Since the investigation began, federal judge Bonadio has ordered the arrest of 18 people suspected of corruption. At present, 16 people, including Baratta, have been arrested and 2 are missing.
Ruben Valenti, director of Impsa, a metallurgical company, met Barata at the Fairs Park Hotel on Esmeralda Street and presented several boxes of Lagarde champagne and, of course, a suitcase full of dollars.
Carlos Wigner, president of Esuco, Argentinas construction company and former president of the Argentine Chamber of Commerce, will put the dollar cash ready for Barata in his office at 151 San Jose Street.
Javier Sanchez Cavalero, general manager of the construction company IECSA, handed over cash to Barata in the parking lot of the Hilton Hotel.
Several of the top business executives in Sentenos notebooks have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in illegal profit-making. According to the Miami Herald, at least four executives have admitted paying the money. These include Juan Carlos de Goikose, president of Argentinas construction group Isolux Corsan, who surrendered to the police on August 3. After the surrender, Carlos asked to join the accused partner protection program, in recognition of their bribery premise, as a witness protection.
The judge asked the Senate to remove the former presidents immunity.
The central figure in the case, former President Christina Fernandez, was not arrested because she enjoyed criminal immunity as a member of parliament. At present, federal judges have asked the Senate to lift her immunity in order to search her home and office. Fernandes himself will appear in court for questioning in August 13th. Most of the people involved in the bribery note-taking scandal so far have been close allies of the Kirchners. This scandal is bound to pose a new challenge to the judicial system of Argentina. After all, Argentinas judicial system has never succeeded in holding powerful people accountable for corruption cases. But the Miami Herald points out that in a country that has been plagued by corruption for years, it is a valuable achievement to be able to carry out such a large-scale anti-corruption investigation. The bribery note anti-corruption investigation has been Argentinas biggest anti-corruption victory in recent years and may even have an impact on Latin America as a whole. Source: Red Star News Editor: Ji Xue Ying _NN6784
The central figure in the case, former President Christina Fernandez, was not arrested because she enjoyed criminal immunity as a member of parliament. At present, federal judges have asked the Senate to lift her immunity in order to search her home and office. Fernandes himself will appear in court for questioning in August 13th.
Most of the people involved in the bribery note-taking scandal so far have been close allies of the Kirchners. This scandal is bound to pose a new challenge to the judicial system of Argentina. After all, Argentinas judicial system has never succeeded in holding powerful people accountable for corruption cases.
But the Miami Herald points out that in a country that has been plagued by corruption for years, it is a valuable achievement to be able to carry out such a large-scale anti-corruption investigation. The bribery note anti-corruption investigation has been Argentinas biggest anti-corruption victory in recent years and may even have an impact on Latin America as a whole.