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20 years

Arias Peace Foundation under investigation in case of missing $1 million

Oscar Arias

November 23rd, 2012 ( Juan Carlos Cubillo, the district attorney charged with fighting corruption, said on Wednesday that he will “go to all ends” as part of the investigation to determine whether $1 million that was part of a donation from Taiwan to Costa Rica ended up in the hands of a foundation founded by ex-president, Oscar Arias.


The district attorney also said obtaining necessary information as part of the investigation has been difficult.


The funds were part of a donation from Taiwan for a housing related project.


Supposedly, in 2007, the housing minister at the time, Fernando Zumbado, signed a trust agreement with the Central American Economic Integration Bank (BCIE, in Spanish) and the government of Taiwan as part of a $2.4 million donation.


However, the government received only $1.4 million, while $1 million of the donation is suspected of somehow ending up in the hands of the Arias Peace Foundation.  The non-governmental foundation describes itself,


“We have to follow through with the investigation, that is, investigate until we reach all ends,” said Cubillo, who also stated that the Hacienda (Treasury) Penal Court authorized access to bank accounts in order to investigate the case, based on evidence and testimonies provided by the district attorney’s office.


“We have requested the judges to grant access to the accounts, in order to objectively clarify what happened with the missing $1 million, and if that is related in any way, to the donation that a foundation in Costa Rica received,” said Cubillo.


The Public Ministry representative stated that the search for information has been complicated as a result of Costa Rica having ended its relationship with Taiwan, amongst other factors.


However, Cubillo said that the Ministry of the Presidency has been very cooperative in the investigation, requesting information from the BCIE, and taking necessary efforts to obtain information from Taiwan.

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