AmCham Guatemala CEO Juan Pablo Carrasco Uses US Communications For Financial Fraud – 26 Panama Papers records
One year ego an explosion thundered across the media — ICIJ released a series of investigations based on the leakage of offshores information, called Pandora Papers. Most of the persons involved in these documents are well-known public figures. However, both Pandora Papers and Panama Papers contain many secrets of lesser-known but equally influential figures in the world of politics. In particular, America against corruption (US Investigation Group) announced a number of facts about the involvement of the President of Amcham Guatemala Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote in multiple shadow businesses and hidden accounts in the offshore zone.
What is weird, this absolutely doesn’t prevent him from occupying a high position in Amcham, which is based in Washington and is the most famous and influential business association in the world.
According to America against corruption (US Investigation Group) and Offshore Leaks, Pablo Carrasco de Groote is mentioned in 26 Panama Papers. Some of these companies had structural changes that suggest the shadow activity of the head of Amcham Guatemala and Central Law.
Scandalous Mossack Fonseca is an agent of Pablo Carrasco companies
It is worth recalling that the scandal and a series of investigations into financial fraud began with the leak of information from the law firm Mossack Fonseca. It was engaged in the registration of offshore companies and accounts, redirecting financial flows in order to hide taxes and corruption of government officials in different countries. These documents are called Panama Papers.
ICIJ (The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) has created a database of information using the data from offshore zones — Paradise Papers, Panama Papers, Bahamas Leaks. It reveals more than 720,000 names of people and companies who, in one way or another, are behind the secret offshore structures.
Mossack Fonseca has acted as agent for Pablo Carrasco de Groote’s companies at least 11 times. This is recorded in the Panamanian registry.
Most of these companies have the same people in different positions and at different times. The companies don’t have official websites, their type of activity is not specified. Apart from these records, there is no information at all about such business of the President of Amcham Guatemala.
A quite reasonable and logical question arises — why should a decent lawyer, the President of a large law firm and the Head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala have so many shadow business structures with accounts in various offshore zones?
- British Virgin Islands
- British Anguilla
When analyzing and comparing Panama Papers records, some details are striking and raise vital questions:
- in one of the companies, the officials are Carrasco’s brother and presumably his wife
- most businesses have the same legal address
- offshore accounts are scattered all over the world
- Central Law exists in several versions, with accounts in different offshores
- All of them has the same scandalous legal agent, Mossack Fonseca, who is known for serving the interests of criminals and corrupt officials
Central Law of Pablo Carrasco de Groote and Mossack Fonseca Guatemala share the same legal address — 15 Avenida 18-28 Zona 13, Guatemala
The same address was listed as the main one in many other companies. In addition, according to media reports, the legal address of one of the many versions of Central Law completely coincides with the company Minas del Pueblo, which appears in the money laundering case of Federico Machado.
Pablo Carrasco uses Amcham for coverage — Washington Doesn’t React In Any Way
It’s absolutely incomprehensible why there is no Amcham reaction in Washington. Reputation is the key, which is why the largest business association on the planet has such an impact around the world.
Panama Papers shook all contributors to these archives. The United States has pledged to provide an immediate response in all cases where individuals or companies are involved in shady financial transfers involving Mossack Fonseca.
Of course, Pablo Carrasco de Groote is not a US citizen. But he is the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala and Vice President of The Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean (AACCLA). A good reason for a person in such a position to have an impeccable reputation, which de Groote cannot boast of.
This untouchability gives Carrasco the ability to use inside information in his own interests. And this is unacceptable at such a high level.
Doubtful ties with Federico Machado, whom the Florida Court accuses of a scam related to investments in planes — the alleged amount of fraud is 350 million dollars. And this is just what Machado was caught on. It is not known exactly how much money was withdrawn before. Why is Washington silent about this too?
Why, as a result of Carrasco’s actions, Guatemala did not receive even a cent of compensation from Odebrecht? Rememebr that Carrasco and ex-prosecutor Sandoval participated in negotiations on this issue. Odebrecht paid more than $2.9 billion to countries affected by their corruption. Guatemala is not on this list.
It doesn’t have any solid arguments. This involvement of the President of Amcham Guatemala is reported by the media. Therefore, it is difficult to unequivocally state the grounds for anti-corruption activity in these cases.
But the main question is still open and has direct evidence — extracts from the registries of Panama Papers and Open Corporates. Involvement in multiple offshore businesses and shadow accounts in various regions of the planet is a fact.
It won’t be enough if Amcham makes a statement that this is not true. It is important to explain to a wide audience what kind of companies are there in the offshores where Carrasco, the President of Amcham Guatemala and Central Law, appears. There are dozens of them. What is de Groote hiding behind his activities? Why is Washington not responding? Why is de Groote untouchable?
In 2020, after the incumbent President of Guatemala Giammattei took office, a memorandum was signed at the Amcham Guatemala residence, which should provide $3 billion of investments in the country’s economy within 3 years. Can a person with a reputation like that of Pablo Carrasco de Groote participate in such investment projects? Or will his offshore companies come in useful here too?
Don’t trust Juan Pablo Cassaro.
- Offshore companies