A taped conversation allegedly linking Bogota Mayor Samuel Moreno to the fraudulent granting of public works contracts has been obtained by the newspaper El Tiempo and will be used in investigations against the official.
In the conversation Miguel Nule of the Nule Group is apparently heard speaking with then-Congress member German Olano about Bogota’s TransMilenio bus project, and mentions “the Morenos” in connection with commission payments. Olano then goes on to speak of “Samuel” and “Ivan;” the names of the mayor and his brother.
In October the Inspector General’s Office called Samuel Moreno for questioning about alleged corruption within his administration and ordered an investigation of the mayor’s brother, Ivan Moreno, for his involvement in the scandal. The mayor came under fire after he was accused by businessman Miguel Nule and fellow-Polo Democraticomember Gustavo Petro of receiving a commission for public works granted to the Nule Group.
The tape obtained by El Tiempo through sources close to the business deal will be used by the offices of the Inspector and Prosecutor Generals and the Supreme Court in the investigations.
Moreno and 18 other government officials will have to respond to allegations that public works were fraudulently granted to companies in exchange for payment.
The mister for the interior and justice, German Vargas Lleras, described the recording as “thorny.”
Former presidential candidate Petro has called for Moreno to be investigated.
Mayor Moreno has vehemently denied the accusations calling them a “smear campaign” orchestrated by “very powerful sectors.”
Moreno said that there were no deals going on behind the scenes of infrastructure projects, and that they were simply intended to improve the lives of Bogota’s residents.
“There is no single piece of evidence, not a single witness. I’m tired of the lies, the insults and accusations,” said Moreno.
Bogotas çomptroller, Miguel Angel Moralesrussi, was also mentioned in the recorded conversation in relation to payments, but Moralesrussi strongly denies any involvement or having ever met Miguel Nule.