The fall-out from the resignation of former presidential undersecretary Valentín Díaz Gilligan continued yesterday with allegations that the disgraced former government official contacted the Spanish journalist who had uncovered documents revealing his ties to a secret Andorran bank account.
Journalist José María Irujo from El País in Spain discovered documents that linked Díaz Gilligan to the deposit of 980,000 euros (US$1.2 million) in Andorra, money that Díaz Gilligan had concealed from Argentine authorities when he became a public servant.
“Valentín Díaz surprisingly sent me a WhatsApp message yesterday complaining about my work. I wouldn’t like to give details”, Irujo told Delta radio, insisting the message was “polite”. “I find it revealing that he would not comprehend that a person working in politics should not have connections to a tax haven in a country like Andorra”, he added.
The government is on alert following Díaz Gilligan’s resignation.
Several high-ranking Cabinet minister had initially come out in the former public servant’s defence including Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña. And the government also received friendly fire over the incident from its UCR Radical Party allies, with lawmaker Mario Negri even calling for Díaz Gilligan’s boss, presidential secretary general Fernando de Andreis, to step aside.
The elephant in the room is now Finance Minister Luis Caputo.
An investigation by the Perfil and La Nación revealed Caputo concealed from the Anti-Corruption Office (OI) his stake in an investment fund management company based in the Cayman Islands.
“We don’t know if Caputo is in the same situation as Díaz Gilligan. Negri’s recommendation was to collaborate with the government”, UCR party boss and Mendoza province Governor Abel Cornejo told journalists at a Radical gathering this week. He praised the government for “proceeding toward a resignation”.
From August 2009 to July 2015, Caputo was the major shareholder of the Princess International Group based in the Cayman Islands. He held more than 75 percent of the company’s shares.
The case has reached the Anti-corruption Office, which will deliver a verdict on the legality of Caputo's offshore activities within 15 days.