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Dominican Today: Dominican authorities insist on Shell’s alleged refinery fraud

Local – 3 January 2008, 7:24 AM

SANTO DOMINGO. – Accounts Chamber president Andrés Terrero yesterday said the infractions of altered invoices detected in the audit on the Dominican Petroleum Refinery (Refidomsa) include three specific cases with frauds of more than RD$17 million.

The official said 11 other cases of altered invoices were uncovered which the auditors couldn’t quantify, as they didn’t receive the complete information requested from those shipments’ suppliers.

Terrero said the Accounts Chamber resolution 6-07 the sent to the Corruption Prevention Department (DPC) makes reference only to an alteration of RD$771,814, though the report explains the other alterations in detail.

He said the Accounts Chamber will issue a complementary resolution to the DPC to add the additional detections in the audit report and said it’s the Justice Ministry which should determine if charges will be filed against those who committed the infractions.

The newspaper Listin Diario published the information which yesterday made reference to the Refidomsa scandal, managed by the company Shell, equal partner with the State in the refinery, and which had been lowered to only RD$771,814.

“What occurs is that Accounts Chamber resolution 6-07 that accompanied the report sent to the DPC only mentions that case, whereas the other alterations appear in the complete document,” the newspaper said.

The Accounts Chamber is preparing a complementary resolution to clear any doubts or confusions on the magnitude of the invoices allegedly altered by the Shell employees Alfredo Nara, and Willen Lugmeijer, Refidomsa’s general manager and supply manager, respectively.

The audit report cites the “spot” import of a shipment of 69,823 barrels of fuel oil in May, 2005, where the altered invoice caused a loss for consumers of RD$13.3 million.  Another shipment of 51.516 barrels of the same fuel imported in August, 2005 affected to the country with RD$3.4 million, whereas in the import pf 39,555 barrels on November 23, 2006, are where losses from an alteration of RD$771,814 are detected.

On the 11 additional imports, it said the auditors sent 28 requests for information from the suppliers, but only one was responded in an incomplete manner.

PARTNER

Although the Government and Shell are equal partners in the Dominican Petroleum Refinery, the private company is the one which designates the administrators. For that reason, the responsibility for the altered invoices in fuel imports from the spot market would be the responsibility of the managers chose by Shell.

http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2008/1/3/26572/print

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