The name of the president of Ecuador is involved in the journalistic investigation and, according to some [people], he could have committed fraud or tax evasion.
Because of this, the former presidential candidate of Ecuador, Yaku Pérez, filed a complaint against the president, Guillermo Lasso, regarding his involvement in the Pandora Papers investigation.
The politician and indigenous leader went to the Attorney General’s Office to submit his formal request to open an investigation on Lasso, one of the three Latin American leaders included in a list of international figures with offshore companies and accounts [opened] in tax haven countries.
According to Pérez, the head of state could have been involved in felony fraud or tax evasion, as established in the Organic Integral Criminal Code.
“427 billion dollars are lost all over the world because of tax evasion. This is documented by Alianza Global (Global Alliance)”, he stated in communications to the press. He also cited a report published in November 2020 by the European Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) according to which more than half of the income and value added tax is evaded in Ecuador, which represents 7% of the annual Gross Domestic Product.
He added that the Pandora Papers report, which he considered to be [a] monumental [report], finishes off the case.
In his complaint, he demands that the prosecution ask the Internal Revenue Service to provide all the financial movements and tax payments Lasso and his closest relatives made since 2013, when he first ran for president.
“If it is transparent, all the information from 2013 has to be transparent, not just the most recent one even though he admits that he set up a trust”, he noted.
According to the journalistic investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the leader had at least 14 companies in places considered tax havens and he got rid of 11 of those before becoming president.
Meanwhile, the president insists that he hasn’t committed any crime because, as acknowledged in the Pandora Papers report, these companies were dissolved, and he ruled out any relationship with the remaining three.
The complaint follows similar requests from the legislative branch of the Union for Hope movement and criticisms the head of state received on social media. (PL)