In a first for Chile, an ex-police chief faces subpoena over fraud scandal

SANTIAGO – A former top police officer has been summoned for questioning in a multimillion-dollar fraud scandal that unfolded within Chile’s national police force, known as the Carabineros, last year.

On March 1, the Public Ministry will formalize the former general director of Carabineros, Eduardo Gordon, within the framework of the mega fraud in the institution, which already exceeds 25 billion pesos (around US$40 million).

So far, a total of 118 individuals have been implicated for their involvement in the scandal, which prosecutor Eugenio Campos called “the biggest embezzlement in the history of Chile.”

The scheme involved diverting money from the institution’s current accounts into the personal accounts of its officers.

Civilian professionals in charge of financial controls and external auditing were also involved in facilitating the fraud.

Nearly 22.5 billion CLP embezzled by Carabineros de Chile

Gordon will be investigated for the use of over US$21 million in representation expenses by the Public Relations department of the Carabineros while serving as the general director between 2010 and 2011.

According to the Cooperativa, this is the first time since the enactment of the criminal procedure reform that a top Carabineros authority will be formalized.

The request was made by Eugenio Campos, regional prosecutor of Magallanes, and lawyer Daniel Martorell, advisor of the Council of Defense of the State.

On the same day, March 1st, Jorge Serrano Espinoza, who until the middle of December was a member of the high command of the Carabineros and went into retirement at the announcement of the staff for 2018, must declare at the court.

The defense lawyer of Gordón, Leonardo Battaglia, has said they will come to the oral trial to prove their innocence, adding that the origin of ” the donation” of US$21 million is totally justified.

“He had funds available and this situation was generated where he believed that he was the one who had to assume the cost and he gave the money in. These funds are not reserved expenses ,” said Bataglia.

The hearing will be held in the Seventh Chamber of the Santiago Court of Appeals.