Salvadoran Prosecutor’s Office Seizes Assets from accomplices of Mauricio Funes

View of one of the nine properties seized from two former officials of Mauricio Funes, former president of El Salvador. Photo: Tweeter of the Prosecutor’s Office

Nine properties, six vehicles and four bank accounts confiscated to two former officials of the ex-President, granted asylum by Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua

By EFE (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The Prosecutor’s Office of El Salvador intervened on Wednesday several properties valued at 1.3 million dollars of two former officials of the ex-president Mauricio Funes—who with his family is sheltered with asylum by the Ortega government in Nicaragua. The two former Funes functionaries are allegedly linked to a corruption plot.

A representative of the Public Ministry explained that these are nine buildings, six vehicles and four bank accounts that belong to Funes former Secretary of Communications of the Presidency David Rivas and the former executive director of the Presidential Residence, Arturo Ayala.

The prosecution contends that these men, prosecuted for allegedly collaborating in the embezzlement of more than 351 million dollars from the state budget, obtained these assets during the administration of Funes (2009-2014), “to improperly increase their assets.”

The prosecutor’s office explained that the properties will be administered by the National Council for Properties Administration, while a process of expired ownership is underway and a court decides whether they pass to the State.

Charges against Funes

Funes, a refugee in Nicaragua since September 2016 and who received the nationality of that country in 2019, is prosecuted with more than 30 people, including some relatives, for the alleged embezzlement and laundering of more than 351 million dollars.

He is also accused of paying bribes to former Attorney General Luis Martinez to avoid investigations, embezzling funds from thw construction of a dam and revealing a secret document from the United States Government.

Daniel Ortega and Mauricio Funes, in Managua. Archive / EFE / Mario Lopez

The former president, who ruled under banner of “change” for the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), became the third president of the Salvadoran democracy to be accused of seizing public funds.

Funes, as well as former president Elias Antonio Saca (2004-2009), used similar schemes to embezzle money through a “reserved expenses” account that serves to channel state intelligence spending, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Saca is serving a 10-year prison sentence imposed in September 2018 for embezzling more than 300 million dollars and money-laundering through his communication companies, crimes which he confessed in a trial.

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