The Brazilian and Ecuadorian investigations reveal that, in Ecuador, Odebrecht used the same bribery scheme uncovered in Brazil and in other countries in Latin America. A document produced by Ecuador’s justice system mentions a total amount of US$ 33.5 million in bribes. The company’s executives would contact local businesspeople to get them to broker the dealings with the government, at several levels. In exchange, they would receive benefits in public contract biddings and would be able to overcharge the initial project’s cost.
The plea bargain deal testimony given by José Conceição dos Santos, Odebrecht’s former chief of operations in Ecuador, contains a large amount of evidence, due to Santos being willing to not only hand over important documents, but also record the country’s government officials. Former vice-president Jorge Glas was recorded on film, as well as Comptroller General Carlos Pólit, who was responsible for running the investigation that led to ex-president Rafael Correa expelling Odebrecht from the country in 2008, as well as for revising that decision.
Glas received, according to Santos, US$ 14.1 million in bribes, between 2012 and 2016. Thanks to these payments, the company was awarded such contracts as the Manduriacu and Toachi Pilatón hydroelectric plants; the Pacific Refinery; the Pascuales–Cuenca Polyduct, for transporting gasoline and diesel oil; and the Trasvase Daule Vinces water supply project. Santos stated in his testimony that Ricardo Rivera, Glas’ uncle, acted as the middleman between the two. Rivera was also recorded by Santos. The felonious relationship began when Glas was still Ecuador’s coordinating minister of Strategic Sectors, a position he held until 2012.
“Ricardo (Rivera) informed me that then-minister Jorge Glas needed to be paid 1 per cent of the cost of every public contract that the company was awarded within the purview of the aforementioned ministry, to which I agreed”, Santos told the Brazilian Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Pólit, on the other hand, was bribed to revise the decision to expel the company from the country and to write official reports that recommended that Ecuador should take it back. “He informed me that he did not agree with the Comptroller General’s Office’s position, which was against the company. He said he would reassess his reports so long as he was paid US$ 6 million”, informed Santos.
Luiz Antonio Mameri, former Odebrecht director for Latin America, has also contributed with information concerning the unlawful payments made to Jorge Glas, in his testimony. “[José Conceição dos Santos] informed me that he had been contacted by one of then-minister Jorge Glas’ go-betweens, explaining that the minister was to be paid 1 per cent of the cost of every public contract that the company was awarded within the purview of the Strategic Sectors ministry. Glas would go on to become vice-president”, he recounts.
Mameri also provided information on Carlos Pólit: “There were two dealings made by our superintendent director in Ecuador, Mr. José Conceição dos Santos, with Mr. Carlos Pólit, amounting to US$ 6 million. In exchange, an official report was written by Mr. Pólit that was favourable to the company’s return to business in Ecuador. Between 2012 and 2014, I was contacted regularly, being asked to authorise new payments to Mr. Pólit, which I did”, Mameri explains.
PUBLIC CONTRACTS WITH POSSIBLE IRREGULARITIES
+ Transfer of the Daule River
+ Manduriacu hydroelectric plant
+ La Esperanza Aqueduct
+ Pascuales-Cuenca Pipeline
+ Toachi Pilatón hydroelectric plant