Miguel Atala Herrera confessed to the authorities that used an offshore company to triangulate illicit Odebrecht money destined for former President Alan García. It was the Panamanian Ammarin Investment. However, to capture bribes from the Brazilian construction company, Atala had to activate Ammarin Investment with funds from Coher & Coher, another offshore company it owns based in the British Virgin Islands.
Reporters from International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), and its allies of the journalistic portal Convoca, found the documents of Trident Trust that confirm the version that Miguel Atala gave about how Odebrecht transferred the money that it had agreed with the former president García.
The defense of the García Nores family maintains that Atala has lied to the authorities and that it is not true that Odebrecht paid bribes to the former head of state. But the Pandora papers, the ICIJ and Convoca research project through which they accessed the files of Trident Trust – the offshore management company that sold the firm Coher & Coher to Miguel Atala -, They contain information that fits with what was said by whoever was Alan García’s close friend.
According to Trident Trust documents, the offshore Coher & Coher de Miguel Atala was originally acquired in 1997 and then transferred from the British Virgin Islands to Florida, United States, in 2002. Then something happened that does not seem anecdotal.
In 2007, Before Garcia completed the first year of his second term, Atala re-registered Coher & Coher in the British Virgin Islands.
Coincidentally, in 2007, it was García’s private secretary, Luis Nava Guibert, who asked him if he could act as attorney-in-fact for the Ammarin Investment firm. It was the Panamanian offshore company set up by Odebrecht, under whose name he opened an account in Private Banking of Andorra. Odebrecht used another front company, Kleinfeld Services, to transfer the bribes to Ammarin Investment.
YOU CAN SEE: Panamanian firm bought offshore for bribery payment
For this reason, Nava asked Atala to manage the offshore Ammarin Investment in the shadow. Atala received 5 transfers for a total of US $ 1,312,000, money that, according to his statement, he gave in fractions of US $ 20,000 to US $ 50,000 to Alan García.
After the initial US $ 10,000 from Atala that he transferred from Coher & Coher, Odebrecht’s transfers through Kleinfeld Services followed. However, the prosecutors of the Lava Jato special team informed Convoca that they detected that Coher & Coher received income of about US $ 14 million, the origin of which is uncertain. The authorities are in process to determine if that money would also be illicit, such as that received by the offshore Ammarin Investment managed by Atala to capture bribes from Odebrecht.
Although the pandora papers confirm the version of Chapter on how he participated in the triangulation of the bribes in which the offshore Ammarin Investment and Coher & Coher intervened, the defense of the García family He told La República that the documents did not prove that Atala gave illicit Odebrecht money to former President García.
“What has been confirmed is that this money was going to Atala and Nava. What has been confirmed is that there was money, money that according to the documentation provided by Odebrecht was for Atala and Nava. What has not been proven, and that will not be proven in our opinion, is that this money has been given to Alan García, ” argued the family’s lawyer. Garcia Nores, Erasmo reyna.
” The illicit origin of the money and the destination of that money to accounts that belonged to Nava and Atala have been confirmed. And both characters, in order to save their skin and freedom, have declared that he was destined for García. But that has not been corroborated in any journalistic investigation or in any process. Neither on the issue of money laundering that is being pursued against Mrs. Pilar nor with Mrs. Cheesman. Nor in the process of loss of domain. Not even in the phone seizure process. In no process has it been proven that the route of that money has culminated in Alan García, except for the statements by Nava and Atala, which were made in the framework of obtaining their freedom. But so far they haven’t tried it, ” Reyna said.
Yes, the confessions of Nava and Atala, two close friends of Alan García, agree that the money was for the former head of state. Effective Odebrecht employees have also said so. Pandora’s papers confirm that Atala received the funds.
The Garcia, Nava and Atala triangle
In 2018, the year after Luis Nava asked Miguel Atala to manage the offshore Ammarin Investment to receive bribes from Odebrecht, Alan García appointed Atala vice president of Petroperú, a position in which he remained until 2011.
The close link between García, Nava and Atala is documented. In 2003, they formed the Social Democracy Association. In 2004, Nava and Atala formed the Employment Institute. Atala is also a partner of the company Del País Consorcio Periodístico, which publishes the daily Del País, which had a notorious connection with Alan García.
An investigation by the Andorran authorities, following the Lava Jato scandal, detected that Private Banking of Andorra was working with Odebrecht. And that he had made transfers for Miguel Atala.