Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Corruption: Chile's former air force chief detained in Miragegate scandal

Ramon Vega, a former commander of the Air Force of Chile, was detained on Monday on charges of embezzling nearly $3 million in a case called "Mirage".

According to official sources, Ramon Vega, who is detained in the air base El Bosque, is accused of taking nearly $3 million in a government deal to buy Mirage fighter jets from Belgium between 1992 and 1994 when he headed the Air Force.

Three other senior military officials were also detained and accused of receiving commissions between $60,000 and $65,000.

In 1994, Chile paid Belgium $109 milliondollars for 25 Mirage Elkan planes. However, Belgium only received $70 million since the rest of the money was paid to a company in charge of remodeling the planes, which allegedly was given to the militaries as commissions.

According to local media, Vega is also accused of having hidden his relation with Bernardvan Meer, a son-in-law of Vega, who was the main booster of the deal and has confessed to having received $2.7 million as commissions.
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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