Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office said on Thursday it has opened preliminary investigations into the country’s finance minister for supposed irregularities in the recent $2 billion privatization of power generator Isagen.
The government sold its majority stake in Isagen in January to Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management for 6.49 trillion pesos. Brookfield valued the sale at $2.2 billion.
The investigation began after a citizen group dedicated to advocating for public resources accused Cardenas of illegally selling the company and shirking his duties as a public servant.
The ministry said Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas had not yet been formally informed of the investigation.
Cardenas could face criminal charges and jail time should the investigation reveal wrongdoing. If the Inspector General’s Office finds the minister guilty, he can be barred from holding public office.
Colombia plans to use the Isagen proceeds to fund highways, bridges and tunnels across the country, its so-called 4G infrastructure projects.
(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)