Distributed Denial of Secrets

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Patron Papers

Published by waviness on 2024-01-14 04:22

Documents from Seprelad, Paraguay's Secretariat for the Prevention of Money or Property Laundering. The reports known as Patron Papers were first released to the press in 2022, and include an investigation into tobacco smuggling and payments made to public officials by companies linked to former president Horacio Cartes.

The Seprelad investigation details the president's connections to the money launderer Darío Messer, and payments made to public officials who were investigating the Messer affair. This dataset was shared with DDoSecrets after Paraguayan authorities opened an investigation into the 2022 leak and asked two outlets that covered the dataset to disclose names of their journalists writing the stories about the money laundering investigations.

Statement from the source

"In May 2022, Paraguay’s main media outlets published portions of financial reports, calling them #PatronPapers. These financial intelligence reports were created by the Seprelad, the Secretariat for the Prevention of Money or Property Laundering, and were delivered to the public prosecutor office.

"The reports link the former president of Paraguay Horacio Cartes, and current senator Erico Galeano, with tobacco companies in a money laundering scheme involving cigarette smuggling networks. Although the prosecutors received the full report from the Seprelad investigation, they continued to protect the politicians and the companies involved.

"Later, the prosecutors opened a criminal case to investigate the leak of the report. On August 18, 2023, media outlets reported receiving a legal request with an intimidating tone, asking even for the names of the journalists who had written the stories.

"Because of this intimidation and the abuse of the freedom of the press in Paraguay, all the financial reports implicating expresident Horacio Cartes in a money laundering and cigarette smuggling ring, which Seprelad delivered to the prosecutor’s office, are now public. In addition, this new full leak includes other financial intelligence reports linking Dario Messer to currency exchange and to the current legislator for the Colorado party, María González Vaesken. There are 28 financial intelligence reports, including 1620 pages, adding up to 474 MB."