In an interview with the Bolivian Newspaper the reason The District Attorney of Santa Cruz Henry Herrera admits that the sole purpose of Jacob Ostreicher’s arrest, was to facilitate the confiscation of his rice, and properties, and for the extortionists to take over the operation and management of his properties.
The following is parts of the interview:
Was the incarceration of Ostreicher meant just for extortion?
The investigation shows that his detention in Palmasola prison, for committing the crime of laundering of illicit proceeds, was used to extort him, not only did they want to confiscate his rice as it was initially believed, but the ultimate goal was to take over the administration, operation and management of his properties.
A month after the news of the extortion network came to light, operating from two executive ministries, what’s the progress of the investigation?
The process is a breakthrough, there are 12 prisoners in Palmasola prison and two in alternative detention. While the progress is not measured by the number of prisoners detained, because this measure is only one element that helps the Attorney General to execute the investigation as intended, sometimes people see it that way. I think we’re currently in the process of completing the first phase of getting confessions, and beginning the second phase which includes collecting evidence.
When and how was the prosecution made aware of the existence of the extortion network?
We were made aware through the complaints submitted by the lawyers representing Jacob Ostreicher, and through accusations airing in the media, the decision was to review certain actions within the process and. Later we also received Intelligence reports from the police. Then came the order from the Ministry of Government to begin a thorough investigation which began with taking statements from Jacob Ostreicher, his lawyers and other people involved in his case.
Was the sale of Ostreicher’s rice key to the investigation?
Once we received the report on the sale of Ostreicher’s rice, we then realized that some people used names that never existed, we found deposits of money in bank accounts of officials from the Ministry of the Presidency, as Jose Manuel Antezana Pinaya, who is currently being held in Palmasola prison. With each passing day we learned that Fernando Rivera, Denis and Boris Rodas Villegas, from the Ministry of Government were behind this scheme. I assure you that at that time we had no idea to what kind of network this was leading to, but it turns out that this is what it was.