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12/14/15

Minera IRL (IRL.to) (MIRL.l): The latest round of Jaime Pinto BS

Here's how the criminal charge system works in normal countries:
  • I accuse you of eating a live dog in public
  • You tell me not to be silly
  • I tell you I'm going to report you for eating a live dog in public
  • I report you to the police
  • The police ask me for proof or evidence
  • I don't have any
  • No charges are filed (and I might face my own charges of wasting police time)
 
And now here's how the criminal charge system works in Peru:
  • I accuse you of eating a live dog in public
  • You tell me not to be silly
  • I tell you I'm going to report you for eating a live dog in public
  • I report you to the police and I file criminal charges with the public prosecutor
  • The police and prosecutor then have to investigate
  • I can then tell everyone that you're under investigation for eating a live dog in public
  • Animal Rights campaigners beat you up in the street the next day.

In other words, I personally can bring criminal charges against you and until they're dropped by the authorities, your name gets dragged through the mud. It's also pretty easy to spin out the investigation process and have the charges hang round your neck for an extended period, especially if you're a lawyer and know the tricks (eh Jaime?).

Which brings us to the following, a news release that Minera IRL Ltd has distributed today, but only in Spanish and only in Peru (let's see if they go for it in the world sphere tomorrow morning, now that it's on the IKN blog) and to this point, there's no link to it anywhere, they're just sending it in mails to reporters and industry people. Cute. And once again they're basing the whole thing around things that anonymous callers told the IRL "Ethics Hotline" back in July, which means that 

1) Anyone can accuse a Team Benavides member of anything, made up stuff or whatever.
2) Team Hodges people will accept the anonymous word
3) Team Hodges people can then tell the world the person is facing "criminal charges" (see above).

It's interesting to note that this is exactly the same Modus Operandi that Daryl Hodges used when he was put in charge of Jennings Capital, until he was kicked out by the board for ruining the brokerage (that is quite literally ruin, too).

Here's an English translation of the Minera IRL news release in Peru only today, Monday December 14th.

UPDATE: IRL has published the criminal charge document here. But not the NR below, even though they sent it to dozens of journalists and industry people.

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New accusation regarding wrongdoings in subsidiary of Canadian company

Minera IRL S.A. accused of paying illegal commissions to obtain environmental and operating permits

Minera IRL Ltd. has discovered that several of the employees belonging to its subsidiary company have committed irregularites and corrupted public officials. These discoveries  concern members of the current management of the operations located in Ollachea, Puno who, according to accusations received via its “Ethics Hotline” and controlled independently, have paid illegal commissions in order to obtain environmental permits, among other serious crimes.

This has been brought to the attention of the relevant authorities by the board of directors of Minera IRL Ltd, via an expanded criminal accusation signed by the President of the board of directors and presented to the 4th Lima Super-Provincial Court Specialized in Organized Crime. In the expanded charge, it states that Diego Benavides Norlander, Oswaldo Nilton Sánchez Casas, José Antonio Cabia Vega and Patricia del Pilar Matsuda Ysa, among others, committed improper passive bribery, generic active bribery and illegal association in order to commit crimes.

In the text of the charge, the company noted that Benavides Norlander, who exercises absolute control over the administration of the subsidiary, refuses to leave the positions he holds despite the demands of the parent company, in direct denial of the board of directors who are looking to audit due to indications of underhand dealings by the current administration. It also states that on November 5th a criminal charge was filed against Benavides Norlander, Cabia Vega and Matsuda Ysa accusing them of organizaed crime and committing the crimes of aggravated fraud and illegal association connected to the deal in which the parent company obtaind a US$70m loan from COFIDE, but costing the parent company for commissions of  nearly US$3m that benefited an “intermediary” company, Inversiones y Asesorías  Sherpa S.C.R.L., that charged the company for non-existent services.

The new information regarding payment of illegal commissions has come to light from the conclusion of the processing of a series of accusations made since last July, administered independently by the firm Ernst & Young, which came from inside the subsidiary and reveal, among other things, the following irregularities:

  • Payments for access and attention of public funcionaries, including the incorrect use of company resources. This relates to a series of “money deliveries” that employees of Minera IRL S.A. made to several public functonaries in the Ministry of Energy and Mining (MEM) in order to “speed up” the revision of documents. These payments are hidden in accounts of “administrative costs” of “costs of representation” without adequate documentation. Also, it has been detected that some MEM evaluators have been given vehicles for their personal use.

  • Payment of leaders and community members in Ollachea, to which is added that the improperly delivered money did not fully arrive at its destinations. That is to say, part of the money was lost in transit and the payment of “expenses” was inflated so that a quantity was diverted from the object of the supposed expenses repayment.

“The information received from inside the subsidiary is evident and overwhelming; employees of Minera IRL SA have been bribing public employees of the Ministry of Energy and Mining. All these bribes to public functionaries were approved by Benavides Norlander and carried out by Oswaldo Sánchez, who worked in the post of Consultor to the General Management. In other cases, the method was the delivery of expensive gifts to certain key public functionaries. All this configures a systematic enactment of corruption of public employee in distinct entities of the State”, this according to the text of the criminal accusation presented to the 4th Court Specialized in Organized Crime.

According to the charges, between 2013 and 2014 the bribes totalled around US$11.5m. “However, it should not be a surprise that in the course of investigations there have been larger acts of corruption identified that have not been reported out of fear, or because other employees of Minera IRL SA have been implicated. This explains the motive as to why Benavides does not want to leave the management of the company”, states the text of the criminal charge.

As is known, passive bribery is a crime according to Article 394 of the Penal Code and consists of soliciting or accepting donations, promises or any type of unfair advantage in exchange for enacting a act connected to the obligation of one’s employment position. Generic active bribery is a crime according to Article 397 of the Penal Code and consists of “buying” a public functionary via donations, promises or advantages, that aims to obtain a determined conduct from the public employee involved. The crime of illicit association in order commit crimes, is a crime according to Article 317 of the Penal Code and is the grouping of two or more persons in order to commit crimes.