President appoints new Conajzar chief and reopens corruption investigation
Paraguay’s president Mario Abdo Benitez has named Jose Antonio Ortiz Baez to represent the Home Affairs Ministry at the country’s Gambling Commission (Conajzar). Ortiz replaces Oscar Portillo who was the choice of former president Horacio Cartes.
The new administration is backing the demand by Paraguay’s Attorney General to reopen the investigation into an attempt to dispossess the National Port Administration of land in Ciudad del Este for the building of a hotel casino. Cronies of ex-president Horacio Cartes, judges, politicians and administrators have all been implicated in the alleged fraud.
Conajzar is obliged to report suspicious transactions to the Secretary for anti-Money Laundering (Seprelad) in Paraguay. In 2017 a total of 11,564 reports were made, up 70% on 2016. More than 80% of reports came from the banking sector. To date Conajzar has no agreement with Seprelad for adequate anti-money laundering regulation to report suspicious transactions.