WASHINGTON, July 13, 2010—The World Bank Group (WBG) today announced that it has debarred the Bolivian firm, Sanea S.R.L. and its General manager, Jorge Castro Perez for four incidents of fraud related to a Bank Group-financed project in that country.
The false documents submitted to win the WBG contract were discovered by Bolivian auditors reviewing Sanea’s financial records during a criminal investigation of Perez for drug trafficking. The Bolivian Presidential Anticorruption Delegate referred the matter to the Bank Group, leading to an investigation by its Integrity Vice Presidency (INT).
“The World Bank is extremely grateful to the Bolivian authorities for their initiative in referring their findings to us,” said Oscar Avalle, World Bank Country Manager for Bolivia. “The Bank’s governance and anticorruption agenda is only as effective as the partners we have.”
Sanea had won a contract to provide surveying services for the Bolivia National Land Administration Project, which was designed to clarify the country’s land tenure situation, identify land suitable for establishing small farmers’ settlements, and promoting more sustainable use of land resources. However, Sanea’s bid included four sets of falsified documents that misrepresented the company’s financial and technical capacity to undertake the relevant work.
The Bolivia Land Administration Project became effective in December, 1995 and closed in June of 2005. The project made possible the mapping, legal review and regularization of 2.8 million hectares of agricultural land, including three indigenous areas. The project also developed the computerized land information system, which the National Agrarian Reform Institute uses today for land regularization and the computerized linkage of information between the property registry and the National Agrarian Reform Institute.
The debarment is effective for four years, during which time Sanea and Perez are ineligible to participate in any Bank Group-financed activities. Neither contested the allegations brought against them by the Bank Group, and Perez is currently serving time in jail in Bolivia.