Investigation on Puerto Quetzal bribes

Industry Database

Interpol is seeking the whereabouts of Spanish businessman Ángel Pérez-Maura for allegedly paying bribes of $24m in respect of a port concession in Guatemala.

Up until recently, the Spaniard was also the president of Colombia's Terminal de Contenedores de Buenaventura S. A. (TCBuen), which previously formed part of Barcelona-based Grup Maritim TCB.

However, TCB and TCBuen trustee Camilo Gómez Alzate travelled to Buenaventura to hand in Pérez-Maura's letter of resignation, which took place at the same time that TCB sold its 60% stake in the terminal to APM Terminals.

The sale of TCB to APM Terminals was made public on March 6 at the same time that an international arrest warrant was put out for Pérez-Maura. As part of the same case, Juan José Suárez the president of Quetzal Container Terminal (TCQ) - the former TCB subsidiary in Guatemala - has been arrested and is currently in jail.

They have been charged with conspiracy, bribery and fraud, allegedly agreeing a bribe of $24m to obtain the concession for Puerto Quetzal, in Guatemala, a terminal which has also been sold to APM Terminals.

The investigation was launched by the Justice authorities in Guatemala and also by the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which is backed by both the US and the EU. Their contention is that a bribe was paid partly in cash and partly in concessionaire TCQ's shares.

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