Colombia regulator fines Odebrecht, consortium users $84.5 million

Adds response from Corficolombiana and Episol

BOGOTA, Dec 28 (Reuters)Colombia’s commerce regulator has issued fines worthy of a complete of 295.1 billion pesos ($84.5 million) versus customers of a consortium led by Brazilian design company Odebrecht ODBES.UL for breaking competition procedures, it claimed on Monday.

The Superintendency of Field and Commerce (SIC) fined Odebrecht 175.6 billion pesos for its component in devising and executing a prepare to limit cost-free competitiveness during the award of a contract in 2010, it reported in a assertion.

Corficolombiana CFV.CN was fined 55.6 billion pesos, even though Episol – a subsidiary of Corficolombiana and Grupo Aval GAA.CN – was fined 33.8 billion pesos, the regulator extra.

Appeals can be manufactured against the fines, the regulator claimed.

Corficolombiana and Episol have not been identified dependable for the activities becoming investigated, Corficolombiana mentioned in a statement, incorporating that the companies will continue on to defend their lawful place.

Odebrecht was not instantly offered to comment.

Odebrecht has been at the center of a Latin American graft scandal, acknowledging in 2016 that it bribed officials in a dozen countries.

In Colombia, the enterprise paid bribes really worth $30 million in exchange for infrastructure contracts, investigations by the lawyer general’s place of work observed.

Odebrecht, Corficolombiana and Episol utilized an “anticompetitive process” to assurance a agreement was awarded to Concesionaria Ruta del Sol, the SIC stated.

The regulator fined Concesionaria Ruta del Sol – which is in liquidation – 221.5 million pesos, it added.

A few previous Odebrecht directors in Colombia and a former Corficolombiana government were fined a complete of 3.56 billion pesos, the Superintendency said, for owning eased, permitted or tolerated the approach to restrict competition.

Previous deputy Transportation Minister Gabriel Garcia was also fined for his involvement in the system, but will not have to fork out the penalty immediately after collaborating with investigators, the SIC additional.

In December 2018, a Colombian court docket fined the Odebrecht-led consortium $250 million and banned it from govt contracts for 10 yrs.

($1 = 3,493.77 Colombian pesos)

(Reporting by Oliver Griffin and Nelson Bocanegra editing by Barbara Lewis and Jonathan Oatis)

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