President Lenin Moreno’s office has asked the Attorney General to investigate Cuenca National Assemblyman Doris Soliz, former Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), “for crimes against public administration in the Coopera case.”
Cuenca-based Coopera, at the time one of the country’s largest financial cooperatives, closed its doors in 2013, its top officers charged with a variety of crimes, including money laundering and illegal off-shore transactions. Coopera served 113,000 customers in Azuay and Guayas Provinces.
In a statement issued Tuesday by Moreno’s Anticorruption Secretariat, Soliz is accused of mishandling the dissolution of Coopera. “We are asking that prosecutors examine the process by which property was appropriated and acquired by another cooperative in which we believe illegalities may have been committed. Specifically, we question former minister’s [Soliz] decisions in handling a variety of transactions that affected the savings of thousands of Ecuadorians.”
According to the call for an investigation, the Anticorruption Secretariat found “multiple cases of irregularities” committed by former government officials following the closure of Coopera. In the trials that sent top Coopera officials to prison in 2014 and 2015, it was found that the cooperative “triangulated” funds between Venezuela, Ecuador and Caribbean tax havens using shell companies. The maneuvers benefited top cooperative officers while masking the faltering financial condition of the cooperative, courts determined.
Soliz denies any wrong-doing in her official handling of the Coopera case. “This complaint has neither feet nor head and confuses the charges against company officials with the work of the government to deal with the result of illegal actions.” She said she believed the charges against her are politically motivated.
Solis served as MIES minister during the administration of former president Rafael Correa and is currently a member of the National Assembly’s Corresista block.