Conservative opposition party ARENA accused of embezzling a donation from Taiwan between 2003 and 2004.
The Attorney General’s office in El Salvador has confiscated some property from the opposition Conservative Party in what it said was an attempt to recover embezzled funds from a Taiwan donation between 2003 and 2004.
Protected by police officers, specialized officials stormed the headquarters of the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), which ruled the Central American country between 1989 and 2009, seizing two buildings and 17 vehicles.
The attorney general’s office also froze funds the party received by vote in the February election. In total, it confiscated $ 3.9 million in assets and funds.
“We must take all necessary actions to recover the money that has been systematically stolen from Salvadorans,” Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado told prosecutors.
ARENA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
According to investigations, the late Francisco Flores, who was president between 1999 and 2004, received unspecified donations from Taiwan for reconstruction after two earthquakes in 2001.
However, Delgado said $ 10 million had been transferred to the ARENA party’s accounts and was later used to fund the election campaign of Flores’ successor, Antonio Saca, who was president from 2004 to 2009.
Reuters was unable to contact Saca, who is currently in jail and has pleaded guilty to corruption charges.
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced on Twitter that one of the confiscated buildings would be turned into a gym for athletes, while public debt would be used to remodel 15 schools.
The bronze statue of the founder of the ARENA party, the late Roberto d’Aubuisson, located inside the party building in San Salvador, would be made to make manhole covers, Bukele added.
“Justice at last,” he wrote on Twitter.