Two raids in the Conajzar case

Two raids in the Conajzar case

Last Thursday, January 6, the prosecutor María Eugenia González charged eight people with irregularities related to games of chance. These are José Ortiz, head of the National Commission for Games of Chance (Conajzar), the members of the board of directors of the public entity; Ricardo Núñez (representative for the municipalities), Omar Mongelós (Ministry of the Interior) and Rubén Rousillón (governorships). Raúl Silva, a former official of the institution, was also charged.

The other defendants are Carmen Alonso, head of the Directorate of Welfare and Social Assistance (Diben), Álvaro Wasmosy, president of the firm that operates the pool; Technologies Development of Paraguay SA (TDP), and Sergio Coscia, former Attorney General of the Republic.

More accusations are not ruled out, considering that the firm iCrop SA is also being investigated for irregularities related to the operation of slot machines.

As a continuation of the case, yesterday, Monday, the Prosecutor’s Office carried out two raids. One of them was in the ex-office of TDP SA where the prosecutor González went. Although the firm has already moved to other facilities, as stated by defense attorney José Fernández Zacur himself.

Despite the move, the prosecutor also found several documents that would serve in the case.

The other raid occurred at the Conajzar premises, where the prosecutor Osmar Legal attended.

On Wednesday, August 25, senators Jorge Querey, Esperanza Martínez and Enrique Bacchetta filed a criminal complaint against José Ortiz for alleged various irregularities in his functions.

One is the possible bidding of the pool to the firm TDP SA This, despite the fact that it had millionaire debts to the Treasury.

However, it was awarded for another five years to operate the service. It is estimated that it is a tax evasion of US $ 13 million from 2015 to date.

Another irregularity involves the firm iCrop SA It exploits the game of slot machines. However, its undue proliferation and easy access for children was also denounced by legislators and the head of the children’s portfolio. At the time, Ortiz held the municipalities responsible for not carrying out the controls.

Finally, the third questioned point was that Conajzar gave certain irregular concessions to TDP SA during the pandemic. One of them was the 50% reduction in the collection of the monthly fee. That is, instead of paying G. 7,500 million per month, the firm only had to pay a little more than G. 3,200 million.

Alicia Gutiérrez, secretary of conflicts of the National Union of workers, sellers of pools, bingo, games of chance and the like of Paraguay (Sitranquiba), said they are happy because the authorities are acting in the case. She stated that they hope that with this the acts of corruption that occurred in the public entity will be clarified.

“We have suffered the 5% reduction in earnings. But TDP SA benefited from the 50% reduction in the canon payment”, he stated. In other words, in March 2020, around 6,000 pool runners were affected by the 25% to 20% reduction in profits. This was arbitrarily decided by TDP SA under the excuse of the pandemic and the economic crisis.

What was unknown was that the firm benefited from a 50% reduction in canon payments. Despite this, they maintained the discounts for the workers. The worker asked the Public Ministry to focus on Diego Wasmosy and not on Álvaro Wasmosy. Both are sons of former president Juan Carlos Wasmosy, but Diego is the one who led the firm with the irregularities already explained. Not so Álvaro who was the accused by the Prosecutor’s Office.

Alicia Gutierrez

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