El Salvador: Corruption by Numbers

June 21, 2018 Crime , North America , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Mauxito Lemus photo



Ricardo Swire



As the smallest Central American country, one of El Salvador’s most senior politicians demonstrated his ability to rub shoulders with the top international plunderers of state coffers. National security officials revealed Mauricio Funes, the former President, fraudulently diverted more than US$350 million in five years. From 2009 to 2014 he used 32 co-conspirators and 7 accounts to steal US$351,035,400.49 from El Salvador’s treasury, leaving a balance of 68 cents.


The Attorney General’s Office (FGR) and National Civil Police (PNC) charges of embezzlement, money laundering and concealment highlighted the ex-President’s self serving policy. The FGR’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) found government approved US$80,818,285 from the Assembly Legislative for the President. But US$351,035,400.49 was transferred to the private Secretary of the Presidency.


El Salvador’s Constitutional Division determined the financial transfer, between portfolios of state without Ministry of Finance approval, was illegitimate. Members of the shadow network withdrew US$292,218,871.38 cash from the Mortgage Bank in “black garbage bags” delivered to the President’s residence. The Bank’s boss issued a directive that such transactions should not generate any alert in the financial system. An internal audit, regarding irregular cash withdrawals, was blocked.


El Salvador’s ex-President bankrolled 369 pleasure trips, 14 properties registered to “strawmen,” luxury merchandise and wife’s Beverly Hills US$60,000 plastic surgery with US$4.5 million from state funds. Money diverted through national budget alterations. The former President’s female companion was paid US$10,000 monthly from public funds to manage “Latin American Spa” a Panamanian offshore company.


Another co-conspirator Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Banco Hipotecario, or El Salvador’s main government funds manager, acted as main money movement facilitator. Since September 1, 2016 El Salvador’s ex-President and his inner-circle were self-exiled in Nicaragua. The FGR has applied for the former top politician’s extradition and INTERPOL was notified.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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