San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Prosecutors probe Arias Foundation over $1 million Taiwan donation

Costa Rican prosecutors are investigating what happened to $1 million of a $2.5 million donation to from Taiwan through the Central American Bank of Economic Integration (CABEI) in 2007, the daily La Nación reported on Thursday.

The aid package was supposed to go toward building housing in Costa Rica, but according to La Nación, only 60 percent of the donation arrived at the Housing Ministry.

The probe is extending to the Arias Foundation, founded by former president and Nobel Prize winner Oscar Arias, whose brother also was recently investigated for management of CABEI funds.

On Jan. 15, 2007, La Nación reported, the Arias Foundation received a donation of $1 million from Taiwan, and that donation is now under investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office. 

A judge ordered banking secrecy protection suspended for the Arias Foundation to enable the investigation to move forward. 

Arias Foundation Director José Alberto Cordero denied that Taiwanese donations to the foundation were intended for public use.

From September 2006 to May 2007, the Arias Foundation received four donations from Taiwan for a total of $1.4 million, La Nación reported.

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