New investigations carried out by the third anti-corruption rosecutor and the Comptroller General of the Republic reveal that, between Dec. 19, 2012 and Aug. 13, 2014, Pele System, Inc. issued 39 checks to three offshore companies totaling $2 million.
Companies benefitting from the payments were Cliverstone Advisory Ltd., First Administration Ltd., and Liberty Release Co. Corporation.
Pele System had been granted a lucrative $21.6 million contract under the government of former President Ricardo Martinelli, through the Panama Maritime Authority, in 2013 to provide an information system regarding vessels in the company's shipping registry.
None of the three companies that received the payments are registered in Panama, according to the database of the Public Registry. Two of them had accounts at Credicorp Bank. The bank has been unable to provide the names of the final beneficiaries of these accounts, as required under banking regulations.
The payments have been under investigation for about a year, and prosecutors are now calling them bribes. The contract with Pele System was cancelled in 2015.