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Twin raids in $9 million sports scam probe

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Posted 23/05/2019

The Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office carried out  simultaneous raids on Thursday, May 23  in Santa Ana and Parque Lefevre  on two companies  Dutary Sports and Niky’s Corporation under the spotlight in an investigation of  alleged irregularities in the purchase of sports equipment by sports federations with funds from the Panamanian Sports Institute (Pandeportes),  

The anti-corruption prosecutor, Leyda Sáenz said that the investigation is preliminary. “There have been about 17 inspections to different areas of difficult access and so far there is no record, in these areas, that sports equipment has have been received."

Sáenz clarified that in this phase of the investigation there are no detainees.

A  report submitted by the Office of the Comptroller General reflects  inconsistencies in money, for an approximate amount of $ 9 million.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/twin-raids-in-9-million-sports-scam-probe

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OPINION: Theft in the guise of sport

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Posted 24/05/2019

The scandal of the donations that Pandeportes sent to different organizations has entered a new phase.

The Public Ministry undertook a preliminary investigation to validate the deviation of some 9 million dollars that should have been used for the purchase of sports equipment and other related activities.

 As this newspaper has already published, the fate of these funds passed through the hands of deputies and other senior officials of the National Assembly. Although on July 1, several of the alleged implicated will lose their seats, the truth is that the Supreme Court of Justice will have to assume the investigation of deputies in office.

The prosecution was able to verify 17 locations supposedly beneficiaries of the state financing, without finding any trace of donation in any of them.  What the sport and the Panamanian athletes have suffered for this outrage is a tragedy. The new administration can amend this by demanding responsibilities from the politicians of its own party, and thus demonstrate that its code of honor and its fight against corruption are true: forbidden to lie, steal and betray the country and Panamanians - LA PRENSA, May 24.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-theft-in-the-guise-of-sport-1

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Anti-corruption squad raids government sports body

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Posted 04/06/2019

The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s team raided the offices of the Panamanian Institute of Sports ( Pandeportes),  in Juan Díaz, on Tuesday, June 4  as part of the investigation into the scandal of the economic contributions allegedly made by the entity to sports associations and federations. 

The Office of the Prosecutor and the Office of the Comptroller General began the probe after a series of investigative reports by   La Prensa, which uncovered the irregular management of the funds that Pandeportes contributed to the sports federations, several of them linked to deputies of the National Assembly. It was shown that equipment meant for some teams, and others were shown to have received “virtual” baseball pats invoiced at $600 apiece

The Tuesday Tuesday swoop was headed by anti-corruption prosecutor Leyda Sáenz,  with the prior authorization of a judge of guarantees. She complained of lack of cooperation from Pandeportes.

"The message is that all public entities, natural persons, legal entities, are obliged to collaborate with the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) when the MP requires some type of information." If the information is not provided or you are evasive, we have a legal power to request an authorization from a judge to conduct a search warrant, as is being done today, "said the prosecutor. 

 Sáenz explained that the prosecutor's office conducted an investigation in March of this year, but "we have not received the corresponding response as a result of that diligence." She added that auditors of the  Comptroller of the Republic have indicated that they have not been given all the support concerned by that entity. 

On May 23 the prosecutor's office conducted inspections of the suppliers Dutary Sport and Nikys Corp, seeking some evidence that the companies had delivered the sports equipment acquired with Pandeportes funds.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/anti-corruption-squad-raids-government-sports-body

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OPINION:  Crime busting journalism

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Posted 05/06/2019

The Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office raided the Pandeportes headquarters yesterday, as part of the investigation for the alleged irregular handling of funds that this entity contributed to federations and sports associations, some of which were managed by deputies.

The discovery of this issue was the result of journalistic investigations that delved into the political replay of the pact of governability, translated into payrolls and with  contracts for the benefit of deputies related or allied to the government of Juan Carlos Varela.

The citizen reaction of rejection to this negotiated inspired the claim of "No to reelection", the force behind the defeat of some thirty deputies.

This achievement for democracy finds its backing in the proposal for constitutional reforms, which includes a clear ban on deputies administering public funds. And although the denunciations against these are paralyzed by the Supreme Court the change in the political culture provoked by independent journalism reinforces the notion that the freedoms of expression and information are fundamental to keep democracy alive. An independent, truthful and timely journalism that we will continue to exercise during the government that begins shortly.- LA PRENSA. June 5

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-crime-busting-journalism

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Olympic gold medallist will represent athletes in scandal ridden sports body

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Posted 16/08/2019

Panama’s Olympic gold medallist Irving Saladino took on the role of s technical director of the Panamanian Sports Institute (Pandeportes), on Friday, August 16, raising hopes of underfunded athletes that they will now have a voice in the scandal-plagued bureaucratic institution.

The entity says that Saladin will contribute his experience and knowledge in favor of the athletes.

Saladin said he was happy with the designation. “A dream that we had been looking for a long time and has been fulfilled. We hope to give the best to athletes. ”

“I was an athlete and I know what is happening ... There are certain things that must be improved in sport and this designation is a great opportunity," he said.

"There is much to change within the institution. We must improve the statutes of the federations where many people have been for years. That has been the defect of national sport, so we hope to correct many things " he added.
 
Saladino, was the winner of the gold medal in the long jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/olympic-gold-medallist-will-represent-athletes-in-scandal-ridden-sports-body

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First two charged in $9 million non-delivered sports equipment probe

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Posted 10/09/2019

Charges were laid by a judge of guarantees and a precautionary measure to report on the 30th of each month issued against two businessmen investigated in the  Pandeportes scandal.

The Pubic Ministry in the midst of the investigations for crimes against public administration with a possible loss to the State of $9  million.

The deputy anti-corruption prosecutor Manuel Barrías on his way out of the court in Plaza Agora said that it is not ruled out to call more people who could be related to this case and that the judicial measures were imposed on two merchants.

The investigation took off on May 23, when authorities of the Public Ministry raided two commercial stores dedicated to the sale of sports clothing and equipment.

Subsequently, proceedings were also carried out at the main offices of Pandeportes, at the headquarters of the Panama Baseball Federation (Fedebeis) and at the Eyleen Coparropa pool.

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office said that after 17 inspections, there is no record and no evidence has been found that sports equipment purchased with funds destined by Pandeportes to federations and sports organizations linked to deputies were delivered to areas of difficult access in the Ngäbe Bugle region

“This is a preliminary investigation. There have been about 17 inspections in areas of difficult access, so far there is no record that sports equipment has been received,” said anti-corruption prosecutor Leida Sáenz recently.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/first-two-charged-in-9-million-non-delivered-sports-equipment-probe

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