HAITI: PETROCARIBE CORRUPTION – SENATOR YOURI LATORTUE ESTABLISHED THE FACTS:

 

 

 

PETROCARIBE CORRUPTION – SENATOR YOURI LATORTUE ESTABLISHED THE FACTS:

 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – The saga of the Petrocaribe corruption scandal featured many actors – Haitian government bureaucrats including two Presidents, four Prime Ministers, four Finance Ministers and others who should most definitely be in prison, but are still running around Port-Au-Prince (At the exception of Rene Preval who is dead – God bless his soul) leaving la vida loca without a care in the world. And one of them is, believe it or not, inside the National Palace as Chief of Staff ( Wilson Laleau ) to the current President – Jovenel Moise.

 

But the hero of this regrettable saga is the senator from Gonaives, YOURI LATORTUE and his committee members to whom the entire nation, including this newspaper and the Haitian Diaspora, owes a debt of gratitude for having the courage and integrity to conduct an investigation free of animus, partisanship, political paybacks or mudslinging. The investigation was conducted professionally, fairly, and the facts revealed how deep corruption is engrained in the Haitian government, and how cavalier Haitian politicians are about government resources. So cavalier that one can easily conclude that these bureaucrats think it is within their responsibility and authority to steal from the government.

 

For many years rumors have been circulating about the misuse of the PetroCaribe funds. As with most rumors, there were scant facts, if any, to support them. In response to the rumors, politicians like former Prime Minister, Jean Max Bellerive, attributed the rumors to hatemongering, jealousy and character assassinations. Former Haitian President Michel Joseph Martelly had attributed the rumors of bribery to defamation, and threatened to sue several journalists only to be faced with documents showing that he received 2.5 million dollars from Felix Bautista, a corrupt Dominican Senator.

 

Senator Youri Latortue’s commission has cleared the air by presenting the facts based on interviews and documents. Over seven thousand pages of documents, including cancelled checks, contracts, government bank records, emails and others clearly establishing a series of undisputable facts that cannot be repudiated or questioned.

Omegaworldnews has a particular responsibility to ensure that its readers understand that this newspaper is not engaged in character assassination, and that its reporting are based on facts i.e., documents and statements made by the suspects on the records. To that end, we have decided to present a five part series reviewing each administration engagement in the PetroCaribe Funds, and the committee recommendation with regard to same. Today we start with the administration of Rene G. Preval and Duvivier Pierre Louis. 

 

     The following people were interviewed by YOURI LATORTUE’s committee and all of them were accompanied by their lawyers: Evans Paul, former Prime Minister of Haiti under Martelly; Laurent Salvador Lamothe, former Prime Minister and Minister of Planning under Martelly;  Jean max Bellerive, former Prime Minister and Minister of Planning under Jean G. Preval; Ronald Baudin, former Minister of Finance; Lemercier Georges, former Minister of Finance; Wilson Laleau, former Minister of Finance and Chief of Staff to President Jovenel Moise; Marie Carmelle Jean Marie, former Minister of Finance; Eustache St. Lot former Director of the Petrocaribe funds; Yves Germain Joseph, former Minister of Planning; Michael Lecorps, former Director of the Petrocaribe funds; Jacques Rousseau, former Minister of Public works; Florence Guillaume, former Minister of Public Health. 

 

     In addition to the above government officials, representatives from the following companies also testified, accompanied by their legal counsels. The companies are: Hadom, SA; RoFI, SA; DOCE, SA (all owned by Dominican strongman Senator Felix Bautista); E-Power, LLC; BECES Inc., Estrella, SA; SOGENER, SA; TECINA, SA and VORBE & FILS, SA. There were other companies whose representatives did not show up. They were also other individuals that the commission have found to have been engaged in theft and embezzlement who did not testify on their behalf or responded to invitations to do so.

 

     Senator Youri Latortue’s commission on ethics and investigation deduced the following incontrovertible facts from seven thousand pages of documents including, contracts, cancelled checks, emails, letters, text messages, in addition to hours of interviews with the above suspects.  Omega staffs have reviewed the report and wish to share the facts with our readers.

 

                          THE MISSING MILLIONS AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF PREVAL/PIERRE LOUIS:

 

FINDING OF FACTS AND CONCLUSION OF LAW

 

Fact # 1 –  PetroCaribe realized as profit over 2.1 billion dollars between 2007 and 2015.

 

Fact # 2 –  Prime Minister Duvivier Pierre Louis executed one resolution on September 10, 2008 for a total of 197 million dollars from the PetroCaribe Funds.

 

Fact # 3 – Michael Lecorps, managed the PetroCaribe funds from 2007 to 2015 and admitted under oath that he paid money to the above companies as requested by the Ministers of Finance.

 

Fact # 4 – The Minister of Finance serves as the President of BMPAD which manages the PetroCaribe funds; and the Minister of Planning serves as the Vice-President.

 

Fact # 5 – The President of BMPAD and the several government ministers ratified the decisions of BMPAD.

 

Fact # 6- The Minister of Planning is in charge of approving payments on all government contracts.

 

Fact # 7 – All payments by the Government to any third party must be approved by the Ministers of Finance.

 

Fact #8 – Michael Lecorps, Director of the Petrocaribe Funds testified and lied to the committee.

 

Fact # 9 – Michael Lecorps paid out nearly 1.5 billion dollars of Petrocaribe Funds for 275 Government projects between          2008 and 2015.

 

Fact # 10 – Petrocaribe Funds were used to plug holes in EDH (The State Electricity Company) budget to the tune of 1 million dollar per month between 2008 and 2009. 

 

Fact # 11 – The Firm ESD ENGINEERING AND SERVICE SRL, were paid 10 million dollars for  the operation and maintenance of  three electrical installations built by Venezuela while the structures were not even in place. This particular contract were awarded without bid. Michael Lecorps told the committee that the biding process were conducted in Venezuela.

 

Fact # 12 – Three months after being dismissed from PetroCaribe Funds, Mr. Lecorps took a job with ESD ENGINEERING AND SERVICE SRL as commercial director.

 

Fact # 13 – Between 2008 and 2016 over 275 contracts were awarded by two Presidents and five administrations, all in violations of the procurement and emergency laws: Articles, 3, 4, 7, 12, 13, 29, 33, 34, and 64.

 

Fact # 14 – CNMP (Commission Nationale Des Marches Publics) were not consulted with regards to government contracts between 2008-2009.

 

Fact # 15 – The Haitian Court of Auditors (La Cour Superieur Des Comptes) vested with supervisory responsibility for government finances evidenced serious administrative problems bordering on fraud. The President of the Court of Auditors were routinely removed without cause; one auditor would sign for another without authorizations;  signatures contained in documents were not dated or vice-versa; contracts were ratified and post-dated; signatures of fired presidents were forged in documents.

 

Fact # 16 – Under Prime Minister Duvivier Pierre Louis, 13 million dollars were appropriated to her office under “Interventions diverses et frais de gestion..” No one knows what that money was to be used for. Madame Pierre Louis refused to appear before the committee to explain what happened to the 13 million dollars.

 

Fact # 17 -In 2008 former Minister of Finance Dorsainvil allocated 80 million dollars from the PetroCaribe funds to CNE for purchase of equipment including vehicles. 45 of the 80 million dollars disappeared. Mr. Dorsainvil claimed that the documents were conveniently destroyed by the earthquake of 2010. Mr. Jude Celestin, the former presidential candidate who was the Director of CNE in 2008 refused to appear to explain what happened to the money  or the equipment. No one knows if the equipment was ever received.

 

Fact # 18 In 2008 – The following Haitian Companies received contracts and payments for Equipment that was never delivered: On October 9, 2008 – COMPAGNIE HAITIENNE DE MOTEURS received 5.4 million dollars; SOGED received a payment of 9.5 million dollars; AUTOMECA, 20.1 million dollars, HAYTRAC 9.8 million. On December 30, 2008 – AUTOMECA received payment of  35.6 million dollars; and AUTO PLAZA, 39.6 million dollars.

 

Fact # 19 – Mr. Jacques Gabriel served as Minister of TPTC (Public works) in 2008 under the administration of Preval-Pierre Louis.

 

Fact # 20 – Mr. Daniel Dorsainvil served as Minister of Finance under Preval-Pierre Louis and oversaw the expenditures of 197 million dollars.

 

Fact # 21- Mr. Jude Celestin served as the head of CNE in 2008 and oversaw the purchase of Equipment on behalf of the government for 80 million dollars.

 

Fact # 22- In 2008, 80 million dollars were appropriated for “ACHAT EQUIPEMENTS”. However, 57 million dollars were released by the Director of PetroCaribe to the Minister of Finance. 

 

Fact # 23 – 57 million dollars were paid to the various companies listed above for purchase of equipment.

 

Fact # 24- Another 22.8 million dollars were released to the Minister of Finance for purchase of equipment, which CNE never received, and neither the companies who were slated to sell equipment to the government.

 

Fact # 25- The Director of the PetroCaribe testified the 22.8 million dollars were transferred to the Minister of Finance to pay the salary of bureaucrats. However a few days later the Minister of Finance informed him that the money will eventually be used to purchase more equipment.

 

Fact # 26- According to Bank records from BRH on May 26, 2009 Michael Lecorps transferred by wire 22.8 million dollars to an account belonging to the Minister of Public works for purchase of equipment. These amount did not reflect any particular contract for the purchase of any equipment and certainly there were no public offer or biding process by the government.

 

Fact # 27- Michael Lecorps was unable to justified the reason for two transfers totaling about 45.6 million dollars for purchase of equipment were contracts did not exist.

 

Fact # 28 – The Equipment from the above companies were never delivered. There were no records of them having ever been delivered. The Director of CNE, Mr. Jude Celestin did not provide any inventory to the Committee.

 

CONCLUSION OF LAW

 

After interviewing all the witnesses and reviewing all the documents submitted to the Committee,  several recommendations were made which we are repeating verbatim with slight variations due to translation. The Committee recommended that the Haitian Attorney General prosecute the following people for embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, theft and violations of the public trust, and specifically recommended that these people disgorge any ill-gotten gains from their crimes.

 

    The Committee recommended that , the former Minister of TPTC JACQUES GABRIEL,  be prosecuted for violations of Haitian Penal Code, sections 90, 95, 128, 129, 144.

 

 – The committee recommended that, former Minister of Finance DANIEL DORSAINVIL, be prosecuted for violations of Haitian Penal Code, sections 90, 95, 128, 129 and 144;

 

   The committee recommended that MICHAEL LECORPS, the Director of the PetroCaribe Funds be prosecuted for violations of Haiti Penal code, sections 90, 95, 128, 129, and 144.

 

In all, the Committee determined that some 45.6 million dollars of the PetroCaribe Funds are unaccounted for under the Administration of Preval/Pierre Louis between 2008-2009.  Next week we will look at the Administration of Preval/Jean Max Bellerive.

 

Stay tune, for more on these alleged Haitian officials crook. Ronald Baudin, former Minister of Finance; Lemercier Georges, former Minister of Finance; Wilson Laleau, former Minister of Finance and Chief of Staff to President Jovenel Moise; Marie Carmelle Jean Marie, former Minister of Finance; Eustache St. Lot former Director of the Petrocaribe funds; Yves Germain Joseph, former Minister of Planning; Michael Lecorps, former Director of the Petrocaribe funds; Jacques Rousseau, former Minister of Public works; Florence Guillaume, former Minister of Public Health, Yolette Mengual.

Next week another chapter on Wilson Laleau career as as a piublic official

also an article on the alleged  corruption by members of the  Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce, the private sector: Dr Reginald Boulos, Sheriff Abdhala, Zuraik and many others in their alleged plot to corrupt members of the CEP .     ( Electoral Council of Haiti )

Omega Staff Writers

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email