Bolivia’s regulator reports alleged wrongdoings during previous administration

Jessica Saravia, director of the gambling authority from Bolivia (AJ), has filed a complaint with the Public Ministry against the former director and employees of the AJ. According to Saravia, irregularities were found around the process to grant a license to the company Samtofraro Games & Games.

“We just filed a complaint for actions that were against the Constitution and the laws, for failing to carry out duties, improper use of personal contacts and bribery against the former director and former public employees of the AJ,” Saravia said.

She also clarified that they found several irregularities that led them to believe that Samtofraro was being favored by the previous administration, according to Red Uno.

Furthermore, the director explained that at the time that the license was granted, the former employees failed to monitor if the company was complying with a number of requirements. They also failed to review the documentation presented by the Samtofraro, in accordance with the internal processes of the AJ.

A report also revealed that the former director had allegedly pressured employees to approve the license without carrying out controls: “We can verify that information as [there are] reports that indicate that the AJ received the technical and legal reports, issued a resolution to grant an eight year license and notified the company that it has been approved, but all in the same day” she said.

Additionally, Saravia commented that she recognized “doubtful” actions in regards to the process and the company that received the license. “There’s another thing that raises some flags: the former director of the Regional Santa Cruz, owned by Sergio Méndez Mendizabal, has appointed Samtofraro’s legal advisor as legal director,” she added.

The AJ revoked Samtofraro’s license in January for debts with the state and for breaching regulations. The authorization “did not comply with the requirements established by the regulations, and it featured the name of a person with debts and illegal gambling facilities as legal representative.”

Moreover, the company had also set gambling shops near educational institutions and one of its board members had outstanding debts with the State totaling 42k bolivianos.