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article imageEcuador prosecutor accuses Odebrecht of tax fraud

By AFP     Nov 7, 2017 in World

The Ecuadorian prosecutor's office announced Tuesday it will press tax fraud charges against Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht -- also embroiled in a corruption scandal spanning Latin America and Africa.

Odebrecht is accused of failing to declare $120 million of revenue in Ecuador between 2012 and 2016, chief prosecutor Carlos Baca said.

"Today, we formally asked the justice department to set a day and time to formulate charges," Baca said in a statement.

The allegations against the Brazilian company, which has yet to respond, rose following a review of an internal revenue service report filed last March.

The report, which also implicated four of the company's legal representatives in Ecuador, contained "tax information which shows the company had omitted revenues and presented sales receipts for non-existent operations carried out by ghost companies."

Meanwhile, 18 people in Ecuador are accused of playing a part in the ongoing Odebrecht corruption scandal. It is alleged political figures and ex-presidents across 12 Latin American and African countries accepted millions in bribes in exchange for public construction contracts.

Of those in Ecuador, some have been remanded in custody -- including Vice President Jorge Glas, who October 2 became the highest-ranking serving politician to go down as a suspected recipient of illegal kickbacks.

The prosecutor's office will announce Wednesday if it will formally charge Glas and the others currently detained.

According to the US Justice Department, Odebrecht paid Ecuadorian officials around $33.5 million between 2007 and 2016.

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