Colombian authorities earlier this month arrested four current Ecopetrol officials – who have been suspended from their jobs – along with two ex-officials and the wife of one, and charged them with accepting bribes from former directors of the oil services firm PetroTiger, local media reported.
The arrests came in a sweep across Bogota, Bucaramanga and other cities. Colombian prosecutors allege the arrested accepted bribes from PetroTiger totaling around 2 billion Colombian pesos, or $800,000 USD, in exchange for favourable contracts and other business deals.
Those implicated face a number of charges including embezzlement, malfeasance and falsifying documents.
According to reports, four of the seven were in court on March 12. Rafael Castillo and Jose Miguel Galindo could go to prison if found guilty of accepting bribes totalling close to 850 million pesos ($325,000 USD). Eduardo Acosta and Edison Luis Pachon – who could face house arrest – allegedly set up a shell company to hide the kickbacks and falsified documents to justify PetroTiger expenditures.
The case against all seven accused in the corruption scandal is ongoing.
Look for the latest edition of the Bogota Post throughout the city in the coming days
By Mark Kennedy