Possible corruption cases related to the Panama NG Power case


Panama NG Power has as its directors Panamanian businessman Mayor Alfredo “Mello” Alemán and José Dapelo, manager of the Ecuadorian and Italian nationalities, according to local newspaper La Estrella de Panama.

On January 22, 2018, the National Migration Service banned José Dapelo from entering Panama and withdrew his residence permit. What could have been the causes for which the Panamanian authorities made this decision? Apart from the enormous doubts and procedures surrounding the NG Power Panama power generation plant project, other shadows overshadow this controversial entrepreneur.

A publication of the well-known Spanish daily El País, assured that the parents of Ricardo Martinelli’s former minister during the term Demetrio ‘Jimmy’ Papadimitriu, had used banks in the Principality of Andorra to move $16 million in 45 bank accounts, movements in which companies participated that were used by brazilian construction company Odebrecht, so the andorran institutions pointed out this scenario could mean a clear money-laundering activity. The Spanish newspaper also added that the information provided by the Andorran institution indicates that in the period under investigation, the accounts of Papadimitriu’s parents would have been closed and opened several times, a behavior characteristic of those related to money-laundering activities.

The transactions in these dark accounts by the Papadimitriu family were reportedly made between 2009 and 2014, the Spanish press agency Efe replied, during which period Ricardo Martinelli ruled the country. The money would have been transferred, according to the publication, through construction companies that link to the payment of bribes, among them Monteverde NG Power, whose owner is José Dapelo, partner of Alfredo “Mello” Alemán in Panama NG Power.

The company Monteverde NG Power is incorporated in both Panama and Ecuador and is 100 percent owned by Dapelo, the same entrepreneur confirmed in the Newspaper La Estrella de Panama.

Mitchell Doens, a well-known Panamanian politician and writer, in the prosecution’s interrogation of Ricardo Martinelli, former president of the Republic of Panama, and subjected both he and his children to various judicial proceedings after his extradition from the United States, he stated that in the office of the businessman Alfredo “Mello” Aleman he was offered money to lower the level of criticism of the Martinelli government. This pressure on public opinion extended to other representatives of politics and the media, within the enormous machinery of espionage and media control, which Martinelli and his government undertook during their period of government (TVN News, 19 june 2019).

Hence the close relationship between Alfredo “Mello” Alemán and the government of Martinelli, a period in which great irregularities were committed around the project of Panama NG Power.

The controversial case of Panama NG Power’s liquefied natural gas-based power generation project has been dotted with permanent irregularities and suspicions, some of which are:

  • Lack of transparency and legitimacy, in a process of public supply and competitive act, as national and international media showed.
  • Non-compliance with environmental legislation and Invalid original Environmental Impact Study.
  • Concealment of documents concerning power and energy contracts by the Public Service Authority (ASEP) and its director Armando Fuentes.
  • Public statements of the company, with data manipulated and without technical basis on cost differentials that the power distributors and that were denied by the Panama Electric Transmission Company (ETESA). Otherwise, the electricity tariff would be overcharged.
  • José Dapelo, the main partner, was banned from entering the country by the National Migration Service and was removed from his residence permit, due to numerous irregularities. He has also been splashed for the payment of bribes in Andorra accounts linked to the Papadimitriu family.