FBI Investigating 5 Mayors Including San Juan For Misappropriating FEMA Hurricane Supplies
Five municipalities in Puerto Rico are being investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on charges that high-ranking city officials retain supplies provided by the central government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for hurricane Maria victims.
According to close sources, the municipalities investigated are Patillas, San Juan, Arecibo, Aguadilla and Vieques island.
The head of the federal prosecutor, Rosa Emilia Rodriguez acknowledged that they have received several complaints on the matter, but she declined to reveal which municipalities are investigated.
“We have FBI agents who this morning moved to one of the villages on the Island where they informed us that apparently the supplies delivered by FEMA were being stored, and are being kept for the political benefit of a person or some persons for them to ingratiate themselves politically, “said Rodríguez.
The official said that those who incur in this illegal practice could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.
Meanwhile, Department of Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez indicated that agents of the Special Investigations Bureau (NIE) work in coordination with federal authorities.
“Any irregularity that is detected in the delivery of supplies, or that the aid is not reaching the citizens, will be investigated rigorously, both at the state level and at the federal level,” said Vázquez.
At the state level, high ranking city government officials are taking advantage of their positions and are benefiting specific citizens of their choice and they will be investigated and prosecuted.
Citizens are urged to report irregularities of this type of behavior to the federal authorities.
Zero Hedge claims to have talked to the US Attorney’s office about it:
While refusing to give specific names, the U.S. Attorney’s office said that “the first is from the (area) north and the other is from the center; and another is the metropolitan area.”
Meanwhile, the investigation was launched after Governor Ricardo Rosselló received multiple complaints that supplies delivered by FEMA to some mayors were not reaching citizenship.
“I want everyone who is listening to us to know that that will be investigated in a rigorous way and that we will not give any opportunity,” he told Wapa Radio, the local chief of justice.
He reiterated that the aid that has been taken to “mayors and officials is for citizenship and if someone is committing a crime, receiving supplies and using them for their known people that is a crime and will be investigated”