Ecuadorian authorities arrested one person Monday who allegedly was part of a corruption scheme inside the country's state oil company Petroecuador, and is looking for a fugitive businessman who worked as an attorney for Brazil's largest construction company Odebrecht as well as the Isaias brothers, fugitive bankers — all charged with corruption.
Odebrecht officials have been found guilty of corruption, leading a worldwide bribery scheme paying millions to ‘intermediaries’ to secure contracts in a dozen countries.
Roberto and William Isaias were found guilty of embezzlement in connection with their roles as the heads of the Filanbanco during Ecuador's banking crisis in the late 1990s.
Eight attorneys and 80 police officers participated in the operation called "Christmas," searching eight homes Monday in the coastal city of Guayaquil, detaining Ernesto Weison who was taken to Quito for further investigation.
In operation "Christmas" police retrieved money, firearms and documents. This evidence will be taken to Quito under chain of custody.
Attorney General Galo Chiriboga said Weison will be under house arrest due to his advanced age, but he won't be able to buy any properties or access his bank accounts in the country. Among the objects retrieved from the search were money in cash, firearms and documents.
One of the houses searched belonged to Maria Mercedes Cuesta, candidate for the national assembly in the upcoming February elections, who is running for Fuerza Ecuador, a centrist party that is led by Dalo Bucaram the son of former Ecuadorian president Abdala Bucaram.
Cuesta is married to Fernando Pareja Cordero, who is a cousin of Carlos Pareja Yanuzzelli, former Hydrocarbon minister who fled the country and is wanted in Ecuador for his direct involvement in the Petroecuador corruption scandal.
During the investigation, the state also asked for the detention of Carlos Pareja Cordero, personal secretary of late president Leon Febres Cordero, also a cousin of Pareja Yanuzzelli.
President Rafael Correa, who is leading a fierce anti-corruption campaign in the country, said Pareja Cordero left the country and police are looking for him.
According to the state's attorney, the accused was detained in Lima's airport Monday to check his migratory status but was later released by Peruvian officials.