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Pandeportes official implicated in PAN scandal

Temas:

Mónica Rodríguez de Silva, general secretary of the Panama Sports Institute (Pandeportes), has been linked to financial irregularities in the National Assistance Program (PAN) regarding the rental of helicopters.

Rodriguez de Silva has been linked to three of the four companies being investigated in the scandal, which has been estimated to have cost the government $10.1 million. Those companies are Cabin Corp., Level One Venture Everlast Aviation (Love Aviation Inc.) and Angels Wings Life Team Inc. She was president of Angels Wings until June 2014, when she was appointed to the Pandeportes position, and listed as an official with the other two companies.

Also connected to the companies is Gabriel Btesh, a businessman with close ties to former President Ricardo Martinellli.

Angels Wings was registered in November 2009, four months after Martinelli took office. Rodriguez de Silva was listed as a board member along with Btesh, who was later replaced by his lawyer Aliedsabel González.

Btesh left the country several months ago. In June, he sent a letter to immigration granting permission to his children to leave the country.

On April 16, the second anti-corruption prosecutor requested information from Rodríguez de Silva, as the legal representative of Level One and Angels Wings on contracts received by the companies.

The request was based on possible irregularities in services for the Ministry of Health and the civil defense agency Sinaproc that were paid for by the PAN. A response was received in May, and said the companies "have always met the specifications and conditions of each contract."

During the investigation, authorities detected that the companies, which operate from Marcos. A. Gelabert Airport in Albrook, may not have had the proper aircraft or licenses to carry out the operations which they were hired to do. 

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