by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
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Long-time, high-ranking Ecuadoran official

Galo Chiriboga

Offshore company got a bargain on house in exclusive neighborhood, triggering lawsuit

Related to  Ecuador
Data from: Panama Papers
Galo Chiriboga is an Ecuadorian lawyer and politician. Chiriboga is currently Ecuador’s attorney general. He previously served as minister for labor, minister for mines and petroleum and ambassador to Spain. He is a distant relative of Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa.

In the data

In 1999, Chiriboga, then a lawyer in private practice, was hired to collect a debt from a couple who owned a house in the exclusive residential area of La Viña. In November that year, Chiriboga created Madrigal Finance Corp. in Panama, and in December, in order to buy the house, the company granted him a power of attorney including “full authorization to set the price of the property.” Madrigal Finance purchased it for less than $2,800. The former owners later sued Chiriboga for fraud, as they estimated it was worth about $1 million. He finally prevailed, with the court ruling that the couple had not proven the property's actual value. From 2005, when he was appointed labor minister, to now as Ecuador’s attorney general, he has been inconsistent in disclosing his connection to the company when he declared his assets. Weeks before he took office as attorney general in July 2011, his wife María Victoria Espinal asked Mossack Fonseca to remove Chiriboga and other directors of Madrigal and to replace them with nominees supplied by the Panamanian law firm, although her husband remained the sole shareholder.

Response

Chiriboga did not respond to repeated requests for comment. On April 13, in an interview with El Universo, Chirigoba said he is a stockholder "in a company that in turn holds a property.” Asked why he did not state that fact in his asset declarations between 2005 and 2008, he said, “I think I declared my shareholding when I became the general attorney in 2011.”
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