Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on Sunday denied having participated or had any information about the sale of the Dominga mining megaproject, an operation for which he was accused of evasion in the journalistic investigation entitled Pandora’s Papers.
“It is reiterated that the president of the Republic has not participated in the administration of any company for over 12 years, before taking his first term (in March 2010)”, highlighted the president’s office in an official note.
The latest investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) points out that the Piñera Morel family is the largest shareholder in the controversial Dominga mining project, which he sold to his friend and businessman Carlos Alberto Délano in a deal that took place partly in the Virgin Islands British.
“The facts mentioned above have already been investigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Courts of Justice during 2017, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office recommended that the case be closed due to the non-existence of a crime and the lack of participation by the president”, argues the cabinet.
According to the statement, neither the president nor his family now own investment companies incorporated abroad, although in the past they owned companies domiciled in Chile that “were shareholders of companies abroad.”
“The existence and participation in these companies was reported from the beginning to the regulatory authorities, fully complying with the law and paying each and every one of the taxes that were required for such investments in Chile,” added La Moneda, the presidential headquarters.
According to the ICIJ, Piñera and his family were Dominga’s main shareholders until 2010, when the president was in office for nine months in his first term and the sale of the entire equity stake in the company to Délano for US$152 million took place.
Part of the transaction was sealed with a deed signed in Chile for $14 million and another in the British Virgin Islands for $138 million, according to the portal “Ciper”, the Chilean media that collaborated with the consortium in the investigation.
In the tax haven, a contract was signed that established payment in three installments and, for the last one to be fulfilled, there had to be no regulatory changes that would impede the installation of the mine and its port.