Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa announced Friday that right-wing presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso is under legal investigation by the country’s Internal Revenue Service, SRI, for illegal activities involving his offshore companies. On Thursday, Argentine investigative news agency Pagina 12 released an in-depth report revealing Lasso’s connection to 49 companies in offshore tax havens. The companies, based in Panama, the Cayman Islands and Delaware, have diverse names that hide Lasso’s identity.
Pagina 12 also revealed that between 1999 and 2000, Lasso’s fortune went up from US$1 million to US$31 million dollars. This was the same year former Ecuadorean President Jamil Mahuad, a close ally of then-minister of finance Lasso, dollarized the country’s economy. Dollarization left Ecuador’s economy in shambles, thrusting millions into poverty.
The right-wing banker candidate is believed to have boosted his fortune 30-fold by speculating on government bonds ahead of dollarization.