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Corruption complaint filed against former Panama maritime officials

Corruption complaint filed against former Panama maritime officials
The former administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) Roberto Linares and several of his team, as well as the company Orion Maritime Training Centre are facing a complaint before anti-corruption prosecutors in Panama.

The complaint is for allegedly committing multiple offenses against the public administration, collective security and electronic media legal security that Linares may have committed causing prejudice against the AMP. 

The complaint was presented 30 January 2015.

Audits made by the AMP present administration have revealed alleged irregularities in the issuance by Orion Maritime Trading Centre of officers’ carnets.The findings, which were handed over to the prosecutors as evidence, warn of several abnormalities, including possible removal of information relating to the management of Orion Maritime Training Centre.

The company was granted exclusivity by the Linares’ administration of Linares to issue seafarers carnets leaving out of operation some 20 training centres.

Maritime industry representatives say those documents’ issuances without complying with the international requirements, resulted in the deterioration of the image of the Panama Ship Registry.

The company Orion Maritime Training Centre refused to be audited last year and informed the AMP that it had ceased operations on 1 September 2014.

The complaint includes Roberto Vallarino, Jose Rogelio Hernandez and Jorge Antonio Torres, who worked in the AMP from 2009 to 2014 as directors of the Seafarers department and Ivan Karica, Orion Maritime Training Centre’s general manager.

According to the AMP information, it is estimated that Orion Maritime Training Centre had issued some 10,000 assessments although AMP officials believe the figure might be higher as the company tried to delete information from the database. Industry sources say that each Orion’s assessment cost around $5,000-$6,000.