Flores Admits Receiving Millions of Dollars
On Tuesday January 7, 2014, Francisco Flores, El Salvador’s former President, admitted to a congressional committee that he received in 2003 millions of US dollars in form of donations from the government of Taiwan. Flores also admitted that, although the checks were made payable to him, he has no records of how the donation funds were used. Despite that, ARENA leaders have decided to keep Flores in the campaign team.
“I handed in those checks [from Taiwan] for their appropriate use at all times,” Flores, who was president from 1999 to 2004, said on Tuesday, without providing any documentation or evidence of how the funds were spent.
President Mauricio Funes last month suggested to reporters that the missing funds were skimmed and misused, and asked prosecutors to call Flores in for questioning.He charged that three checks, for US$1 million, US$4 million and US$5 million, were issued by the Bank of New York, on behalf of Taiwan, and endorsed by Francisco Flores.
The checks were received by a branch of Banco Cuscatlan in Costa Rica and sent to a bank in the Bahamas, through another bank in Miami.
In 2003 an intelligence report was issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), of the Department of Treasury of the United States, which says that $10 million dollars had been moved from a bank account in Miami to another bank account in the Bahamas, related to Francisco Flores. The money transfer was regarded by FinCEN as unjustified.
This morning in a TV interview, Funes said that Francisco Flores made an “extra-judicial confession” and called the Attorney General to accelerate the investigations.