Cierco Statement on AREB's "Independent Review"

Mar 08, 2016, 21:10 ET from Ramon and Higini Cierco

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AREB, the agency created by the Andorran government after the expropriation of BPA, has once again misrepresented the facts in an attempt to fulfill its purpose of preventing transparency and full disclosure of the government's illegal and immoral actions taken against BPA.  PwC has spent nearly a year and tens of millions of Andorran taxpayer funds.  It has failed to issue a public report. Even in today's second-hand presentation of PwC's purported findings, the government cannot point to any evidence of actual money laundering.  AREB is trying to put a negative spin on the reality confirmed by Deloitte and KPMG and the Andorran government—that BPA reported to the Andorran government the instances of money laundering that they discovered and no other significant cases have been located.   BPA was never an institution of primary money laundering concern.  That could easily be confirmed by the release of the report. When the Ciercos asked for information regarding the process in three separate letters, they were denied answers and not allowed to participate.

Any assertion from PwC's audit that BPA was at its core an illicit business simply does not have legitimate basis, and runs contrary to common sense.  BPA's AML audits were thorough, designed and implemented wholly at the discretion of top external auditors, and acted upon by BPA's executives.  It would be impossible to believe that BPA had been audited year after year by Deloitte and KPMG, and in fact signed off on by Ms. Maria Cosan who was at the time the head of KPMG's Andorran Practice, if there were any problems of substance. 

After each review, the auditors found no significant incidents or observations that implied a breach of Andorra's AML laws. These audits were shared with Andorran regulators, including the agency Ms. Cosan now heads, without any substantive comment or question in return.

Lastly, it is outrageous that AREB would release this information late at night in an obvious attempt to mislead the public.  Once again, the Andorran government has proven it will do anything to save face and avoid admitting its massive mistake in targeting BPA. It is time for transparency and accountability.

SOURCE Ramon and Higini Cierco