The Trade Union of workers of the Administración Nacional de Navegación y Puertos (ANNP) has filed a criminal suit at the country’s anti-corruption unit of the Public Prosecutors as well as the Office of the General Comptroller of the Republic of Paraguay against Javier Balbuena, head of the National Commission of Gaming of Paraguay (Conajzar), for “publication of an international tender without the consent of the Ports Board.“
The criminal charges brought by attorney Nicolás Russo on behalf of the ANNP Union, also name the President of the Republic of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, on the grounds that “government officials linked to the project respond to instructions from the President to squander public property“. Other officers included in the lawsuit are Ministry of Industry and Trade, National Secretary of Tourism (Senatur) as well as functionaries of other government entities.
The criminal charges against the authorities are for punishable acts of usurpation of public functions, malfeasance, public trust, amongst others, and is focused on the public tender plan for the building and operation of a hotel casino on about 100 acres of land of the ANNP, in Ciudad del Este, which also is against 5621/2016 Act “for the protection of cultural patrimony”.
About two years ago the authorities in Ciudad del Este welcomed a project attributed to American casino company Hard Rock International, aiming to build a casino hotel in the city, which is close to the Brazil border, on land of the ANNP, for conversion into a resort with an investment estimated at USD70 million.