Panama paid inflated price for radars

The sale is the subject of a criminal investigation.


The company Telespazio Argentina, which is being investigated in that country for the alleged payment of bribes to Panamanian officials including former President Ricardo Martinelli, is accused of inflating the costs of equipment it sold to Panama.

According to research carried out in Argentina by Federal Prosecutor Franco Picardi, Telespazio delivered similar equipment to Costa Rica for $4.7 million and Paraguay for $3 million that it sold to Panama for $22 million. That equipment is a digital mapping system that was part of a larger, $250 million deal taht Panama signed with Finmeccanica, the parent company of Telespazio.

In the case, two Telespazio directors, Edgardo Nicolas De Gracia and Dario César Ventimiglia, have already been charged with paying bribes. They have been accused of funneling payments to the shell company Agafea Corp., which was created a short time before the contract was finalized.

According to the Argentine prosecutor, the payments were made through intermediaries.

In Panama, Attorney General Kenia Porcell said that she has not yet received a request for judicial assistance, but will cooperate once it is filed. Her office is already compiling information about the contract.



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