The President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera, negotiated in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands the sale and purchase of the controversial mining megaproject Dominga, as revealed this Sunday by an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The Pandora Papers, a work that points to three active Latin American presidents and 11 retirees who hid millionaire fortunes to avoid paying taxes, points out that the Piñera Morel family was the largest shareholder in this mining project that they sold to businessman Carlos Alberto Délano, one of the best President’s friends.
In its beginnings, Pinera, his family and Of the year they gathered 56% of the shares of the business, being 33% of the current president and his family, who were the main shareholders.
The distribution of the rights was maintained until December 2010, according to the exclusive, year in which Of the year bought for 152 million dollars the percentage of all the partners, including that of Piñera, who then had nine months in power for his first non-consecutive term (2010-2014).
A part of the transaction was sealed with a document signed in Chile for $ 14 million and another in the British Virgin Islands for $ 138 million, according to the ICIJ.
In the tax haven, a contract was signed that established a payment in three installments and, in order to fulfill the latter, there had to be no regulatory changes that would hinder the installation of the mine and its port, according to Ciper, the Chilean media that collaborated in the investigation with the consortium.
When asked about Piñera’s responsibility by the media in charge of the investigation, the manager of the companies of the presidential family assured that the president has not managed his business for 12 years, that was not informed of Dominga’s sale process and that the judicial investigation that was opened at the time on the operation ended in dismissal.
The Dominga mining megaproject It was approved last August by an environmental commission and the support of ten regional ministerial secretaries, after being rejected in 2017 by the Chilean government of Michelle Bachelet and by an environmental court.
After a claim that the company responsible for the project, Andes Iron, had filed against the Environmental Assessment Service (SEA), the criticized initiative was given the green light, which seeks to build an iron and copper mine that will produce more than 150,000 tons minerals.
Pinera, who is one of the country’s greatest fortunes and will leave power in March 2022, is together with the Ecuadorian Guillermo Laso and the Dominican Luis Abinader one of the three active Latin American leaders dotted by this investigation, which has once again shaken the world after the 2016 Panama Papers.
There are also eleven ex-presidents from the region, including the Colombians César Gaviria and Andrés Pastrana, the Peruvian Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, as well as 90 other high-level authorities.
The investigation is especially relevant in Latin America, where each year more than 300,000 million dollars in tax evasion escape the treasury, according to data from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
From the rest of the world, it points to King Abdullah II of Jordan, who spent $ 100 million on luxury homes in California and elsewhere; leaders of the Czech Republic, Kenya and Russia and a multitude of figures from the public sphere who concealed property and cash from the authorities.
The “Pandora Papers” included the participation of 150 media outlets from around the world and 600 journalists who have examined 1.9 million documents.
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Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.
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