Emilio Fúster, minister of the Inter-institutional Unit for the Prevention, Combat and Repression of Smuggling (UIC), affirmed that in 2018 he requested the Public Ministry to search several tobacco companies, but that so far he has not received a response.
José Ortiz, Manager of Tabesa responded to the anti-smuggling minister and accused him of wanting to put on a media show. “There is no way of knowing the route of the money from the moment the product is sold,” he said in an interview with Radio Monumental. He also maintained that it was only since HC entered politics that cigarettes began to be talked about, “before they didn’t talk about it,” he said.
“I export a lot of cigarettes and I don’t pay taxes, there is no property damage because there is no export payment. If Paraguay did not produce cigarettes, the Brazilian market would still be full of illegal products, due to its high tax », he indicated.
He also explained that he will not be able to tell the Minister to whom he sold cigarettes. «I am not going to be able to tell Fuster to whom I sold the first pack of cigarettes, that cannot be done. The cigarette is sold in any kiosk. If Horacio Cartes was not a politician and was only a businessman, they would be applauding him », as he commented.
“The objective was to know the route of the money, try to reach the financiers, see if the tobacco companies really have the documents,” he said.
SEIZURE OF CIGARETTES
The request, according to Emilio Fuster, came after the seizure of a large load of cigarettes in clandestine camps located in the town of Salto del Guairá.
“We should not be left alone with the cargo and the drivers, we have to follow the route to find out where the money comes from to finance the smuggling, in this case that of cigarettes,” he added.
On the other hand, the head of Seprelad, Carlos Arregui, also spoke with 1080 about the complaint made by the Minister of the Interior, Arnaldo Giuzzio, against Horacio Cartes for money laundering, illicit enrichment and false declaration.
He maintained that there are interesting data and requested more reports from the SET and other institutions. “The cause is of high importance,” he stated.
Arregui mentioned that the final document of the Gafilat evaluation will be public. The final evaluation report would come out in July.
“Due to a pandemic issue, this evaluation lasted longer than normal, usually it is a little more than a year and we are going for the third year.”
The data: In 2018, Emilio Fuster asked the Prosecutor’s Office to raid the tobacco companies whose products were seized by his unit. However, these raids were never carried out.