Finance Minister Files Notice Against NGO for $50 Million Tax Evasion

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Nov 12th, 2021
Finance Minister Zelaya
Finance Minister Zelaya press conference.

To enforce the Salvadoran Anti-Evasion Plan, the Minister of Finance, Alejandro Zelaya, presented to the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) two notices for crimes of alleged tax evasion and money laundering for $50 million.

According to Zelaya, the notices correspond to operations carried out by a single NGO from a tax haven country in the Caribbean to El Salvador.

“The NGO conducted operations in a tax haven nation, committing crimes of tax evasion and money laundering,” expressed Minister Zelaya.

Minister Zelaya described that these funds were not reported to the Treasury and represent a millionaire tax evasion for El Salvador.

Since this is an ongoing investigation, the name of the NGO can’t be made public. However, the majority of Salvadorans know the name of the NGO in question.

I cannot give more details of an ongoing tax investigation. It will be the Office of the General Attorney that will give more details when the case is prosecuted,” stated the Finance Minister.

According to the Government, auditors established that this NGO moved $50 million to a tax haven on a Caribbean island.

The NGO founded a “trust” at the Caribbean island and then used it to move millionaire donations to their accounts in El Salvador.

In 2018, from the Caribbean trust, the NGO moved donations close to $2 million to the organization in El Salvador.

Zelaya informed that the Government has followed up on this case since the Anti-Evasion Plan began in October 2019.

Due to the limitations established in the Salvadoran Tax Code, the Ministry of Finance can only investigate operations up to three previous years.

However, the Prosecutor’s Office or FGR can extend the investigated period and thus present the case to the corresponding court and prosecute if necessary.

Tax evasion is a problem in El Salvador. Minister Zelaya also pointed out that it is necessary to strengthen the legislation, to prevent more organizations or foundations from committing this type of crime.