In a virtual hearing before a special criminal judge in Barranquilla (Atlántico), the Office of the Attorney General brought charges against Alex Nain Saab Moran, and the accountant of one of his companies, Devis José Mendoza Lapeira, for alleged illegal financial maneuvers that meant losses to the State and increased his patrimony.
In the proceeding that was carried out today, a prosecutor appointed to the Special Office against Money Laundering pointed out that Saab Morán, as the legal representative, member of the board of directors and shareholder of the company Shatex SA, allegedly used multiple maneuvers to evade taxes and customs responsibilities, and to simulate legality in an irregular scheme of exports and imports.
The indictment specified that this criminal scheme was sponsored by Mendoza Lapeira, who allegedly used his profession as an accountant to hide, transform and administer the different illegal activities.
The defendants, who would be involved in an irregular scheme of exports and imports will go to trial for money laundering, the illicit gain of private individuals, criminal conspiracy, aggravated fraud, and fictitious export or import.
During the investigation, the Attorney General´s Office established that the company Shatex S.A. was the axis of all the illegal activities that Saab Morán and his accountant allegedly carried out. In this sense, multiple irregularities were detected, including:
- An unusual economic growth: the company had an economic growth of 923% in 2007. An unusual growth if it is taken into consideration that they suffered a loss and revenues fell by -33% between 2004 and 2006.
- Front company: Shatex S.A., ceased to exist in 2010. However, in the following years, it allegedly exported and carried out purchases. In 2011, it facilitated the transfer of more than $2 billion abroad through the Colombian exchange system. These activities were not reported.
- Keeping a double set of books: the accounting records indicate tampering in 2007 and 2008. The company showed a financial and operational reality to the National Directorate of Taxes and Customs (Direccion de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales (DIAN) in Spanish) with lower incomes in order to pay fewer taxes; while it showed higher figures to the financial sector to demonstrate sufficient economic capacity.
- Fictitious imports: Shatex S.A., supported the outflow of more than $25,300 billion, through the exchange market, for anticipated imports, which never took place. In other words, it simulated imports to legalize money transfers abroad.