A site manager for the Western Border branch of the Border Management Agency (BMA), one Julio Santos, has been fired from his post, and Benque Viejo police are conducting an investigation into a report of over $13,000 missing from the Agency’s accounts for the month of June.
The Agency responded via press release today after news broke of the funds possibly having been stolen earlier this week.
According to the release, the Agency accountant told general manager Gonzalo Rosado, on July 2, two weeks ago, that the bank with which the Agency has its account could not account for some $13,751.50 during its reconciliation process. Subsequent checks at the bank confirmed the missing money.
Santos, as the manager responsible for the depositing of the monies, was fired immediately as of the next day, and according to the release, the Agency has contracted an external auditor to “review the Agency’s cash management procedures, to verify the missing funds, and to make recommendations to ensure avoidance of future breaches of procedure.”
When we checked with Benque Viejo police, they told us that the investigation is currently underway at the border, in conjunction with the Audit Department. The accountant is currently being interviewed, and Santos is also a subject of the investigation.
Police say that an arrest in the case could come as early as later today, if not tomorrow.
We contacted Rosado for comment today, but he directed us to the press release, which says that the Agency is “reserving further comment pending the outcome of the police investigation.”
Santos, who had been with the statutory body for just over a year prior to his dismissal, has denied wrongdoing in speaking with the media and says he has proof of wrongdoing on Rosado’s part.
(Santos was the former assistant manager of Mount Carmel Credit Union until he was charged jointly with its manager and a loan officer, in September, 2001, with ten counts of theft, for over $500,000 missing from the Benque Viejo institution. They were all acquitted.)
Rosado dismissed the charges today, saying that, “A drowning man will always clutch at a straw.” He also told us that as far as he knows, no other employees are suspected of working with Santos, who was unavailable for further comment.