Mizrachi implicated in spying case

The brother-in-law of former President Ricardo Martinelli has been linked to a company that was allegedly used to purchase spy equipment from Israel.


Judicial authorities have said they have identified the funding stream used by the government of former President Ricardo Martinelli to purchase spy equipment.

Investigations show that the company Caribbean Holding Services, linked to Martinelli's brother-in-law Aaron Mizrachi, made payments to the company that provided the equipment, NSO Group.

According to investigations, the transaction to pay for the equipment, known as Pegasus, was made by a transfer from a Panama Bank to Wells Fargo in the United States, and then to a bank in Israel.

Caribbean Holding Services is also mentioned in a complaint filed last June before the Superintendency of Securities related to the irregular handling of investment accounts for the brokerage house Financial Pacific (FP).

The equipment was purchased in 2012 and allowed the Martinelli administration to intercept cell phone calls and other electronic communications. It cost $13 million and was purchased from the Israeli company M.L.M. with funds from the National Assistance Program (PAN).

After Martinelli left office, the equipment went missing, which prompted a complaint by current Security Council Director Rolando López. The investigation uncovered evidence that the equipment was used to spy on political opponents of Martinelli, as well as journalists, union leaders and others.

So far, four former National Security officials have been charged in the case. Gustavo Pérez and Alejandro Garuz are in custody while William Pittí and Ronny Rodríguez remain at large.



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