Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 09:31 am EDT

Mabey Bridge Scandal Continues to Grow

Corruption By Mónica Palm and Rafael Pérez for La Prensa - The bridge manufacturer Mabey, of the company Mabey & Johnson Limited, at the moment involved in a corruption scandal in Great Britain, paid more than $5.2 million dollars in "commissions" to a Panamanian company supposedly controlled by Rogelio Dumanoir, who was a Minister of Public Works during the years of the military dictatorship. The payments were made between 30 September 1997 and 19 August 1999 to the company José Hidalgo, S.A., which, according to Mabey - is controlled by Dumanoir. As well, the money was sent to an account in the name of United Management Services in the Royal Bank of Canada in the Bahamas. Dumanoir told La Prensa he does not handle banking accounts in the Bahamas and that he does not have any relationship with the company. (more) (Photo Credit: LA PRENSA/Gabriel Rodríguez)

Editor's Comment: If you have not heard about this scandal, here's what's going on. Back in 1996 ex Panamanian President Ernesto Perez Balladares apparently decided to buy 17 bridges from Mabey & Johnson Limited, a company from England. At that time the sales representative in Panama for Mabey & Johnson Limited was an English expat named Johathan Danos. In the intervening ten years Danos now no longer works for Mabey and has set out on his own. Apparently Danos kept his files on the deals from the Balladares years, and the genesis of this conflict has to do more with a business conflict between Danos and his former employer than an attempt to "whistle blow" against corruption in Panama. This scandal is gaining steam in the UK press and local officials in Panama are just now starting to wake up to the possibility of a crime having been committed in Panama. Anyway, that's what's going on, and there will be more about this in the future, to be sure. Apparently, the bridges are sitting on the ground, rusting.

Political Side Note: Remember, there are two strong wings within the PRD. The "old school" wing is controlled by Ernesto "El Toro" Perez Balladares, and the "new school" is controlled by the Secretary General of the PRD, Panamanian President Martin Torrijos. There are a series of party elections coming up soon, the first on 20 January 2008 to elect party delegates. Then there will be an internal election to determine the party's National Executive Committee (CEN), and then finally a national primary election to determine the one candidate who will run for President in the 2009 national general elections. The entire political strategy of the "Team Martin" wing of the PRD revolves around maintaining control of the party and keeping the "Toro Wing" out of power.

Opportune Political Scandal in England: This scandal in England came about because two businesses are fighting amongst themselves. It would seem obvious that the current administration could take advantage of the fistfight to start their own investigation into corruption in the Balladares administration. As it was recently explained to me by Panama's Vice President Samuel Lewis Navarro - "Zero Corruption" is an impossible goal in a real and practical world. There will always be some elements of corruption. But obviously starting an investigation into the "Mabey Bridges" scandal here in Panama would probably generate a few dozen headlines pointing towards allegations of corruption in the administration of Ernesto Perez Balladares.

(Article Continues)

He admits having received commissions from Mabey, but for $750,000 and not for $5.2 million as alleged by Mabey.

The money - according to Mabey - corresponds to a 15% commission the company Jose Hidalgo, S.A. received for the purchase of 17 Mabey bridges by the Government of Panama in 1997, as a result of the tour made by then Panamanian President Ernesto Perez Balladares to London the previous year.

The "coordinator" of this transaction was then Panamanian Vice President Tomás Gabriel Altamirano Duque.

Later, in October of 1998, Mabey paid another commission to the same company (Jose Hidalgo, S.A.) this time for $13,570 as a commission for a sale worth $150,000 dollars.

The 15% commission paid to Jose' Hidalgo, S.A. was higher than the normal 10% commission the company usually pays to its sales agents.

These details are reflected in a legal complaint filed by Mabey against their prior sales manager, Johathan Danos, in London.

A source within the Public Ministry said they are following the case to determine if there it merits the opening of a criminal investigation.

30 millones de dólares. Fabricante británico involucra a ex ministro panameño. Escándalo Mabey

Mabey & Johnson demandó a Jonathan Danos por supuestamente negociar e inflar comisiones.

El Ministerio Público en Panamá aún no confirma si existen méritos para abrir una investigación penal.

LA PRENSA/Gabriel Rodríguez URGENCIA. Hoy permanecen en el abandono algunos de los 17 puentes Mabey, adquiridos por Pérez Balladares.970492

Mónica Palm Rafael Pérez

El fabricante de los puentes Mabey, la empresa Mabey & Johnson Limited, actualmente involucrada en un escándalo de corrupción en Gran Bretaña, pagó más de 5.2 millones de dólares en "comisiones" a una sociedad panameña controlada supuestamente por Rogelio Dumanoir, ex ministro de Obras Públicas durante la dictadura militar.

Los pagos fueron realizados entre el 30 de septiembre de 1997 y el 19 de agosto de 1999 a favor de José Hidalgo, S.A., que –según Mabey– es controlada por Dumanoir. A su vez, el dinero era enviado a una cuenta a nombre de United Management Services en el Royal Bank of Canada, en Bahamas.

Dumanoir le dijo a La Prensa que no maneja cuentas bancarias en la referida isla caribeña y que no tiene relación con la sociedad que menciona la compañía. Aceptó haber recibido comisiones de Mabey, pero que estas fueron por 750 mil dólares y no por 5.2 millones, como alega la empresa.

El dinero –según Mabey– correspondía a una comisión del 15% que José Hidalgo, S.A. recibió por la compra de 17 puentes Mabey que hizo el Gobierno de Panamá, en 1997, como resultado de la gira que el entonces presidente Ernesto Pérez Balladares realizó a Londres el año anterior. El "coordinador" de esta transacción fue el vicepresidente Tomás Gabriel Altamirano Duque.

Posteriormente, en octubre de 1998, Mabey pagó otra comisión a la misma sociedad, esta vez por el orden de 13 mil 570 dólares, por una venta de 150 mil dólares. El 15% de comisión pagado a José Hidalgo, S.A. era superior al 10% que la compañía paga a sus agentes.

Estos señalamientos están contenidos en una demanda que Mabey presentó contra su antiguo gerente de ventas, Jonathan Danos, en Londres.

Una fuente del Ministerio Público dijo que se sigue el caso para determinar si hay méritos para abrir una investigación penal.

  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks

Story Options

Mabey Bridge Scandal Continues to Grow | 0 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.