dimanche 14 août 2011

Two U.S. Executives Found Guilty for Bribing Haiti's Teleco

Published on Friday, 05 August 2011 14:20 Written by External
MIAMI, USA - Two former executives of Terra Telecommunications Corp. were convicted by a federal jury on Friday. U.S. attorneys say “these individuals conspired and made corrupt payments to foreign government officials [in Haiti] for the purpose of securing business advantages for their company.”
U.S. State Attorney, Wilfredo A. Ferrer, says Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez, the president and executive vice president of the Miami-based firm, had several contracts with the state-owned company, Teleco, which under the President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, authorized more than $890,000 in payments between November 2001 and March 2005 to shell companies to be used for bribes for officials. The purpose of the bribes, prosecutors said, was to gain business advantages.
Teleco has been a sore spot in Haitian telecommunications as other, foreign owned companies flourished. Many Haitians would point to terrible service and corruption as the telecoms biggest problems.
Many say to get a phone line connect could take from 6 months, up to a year, even after placing a deposition and setting up an order. It would take under the table money to get service or repairs made timely. Much speculation has been made that former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide may be indicted as well. Teleco was bought by Vietnamese telecom Viettel in late 2010.
Sentencing for both Esquenazi and Rodriguez is scheduled for Oct. 13. Esquenazi was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals, while Rodriguez is free on bond.

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