Thursday, May 13, 2021

Ricardo Martinelli's ex-secretary Adolfo "Chichi" De Obarrio is arrested in Italy

Ricardo Martinelli's ex-secretary Adolfo "Chichi" De Obarrio is arrested in Italy

Adolfo "Chichi" De Obarrio, who was the personal secretary of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and is wanted for alleged corruption, has been arrested in Milan (north) of Italy, as confirmed by police sources on Thursday.
Adolfo “Chichi” De Obarrio, former personal secretary of former President Ricardo Martinelli, is linked in Panama to alleged crimes.

Identified as ADOM (Adolfo De Obarrio Manzini), the 39-year-old Italian-Panamanian was arrested yesterday in Milan by the Italian police, in response to a request from INTERPOL, which had been looking for him since 2019.

De Obarrio, who was Martinelli's private secretary during his tenure between 2009 and 2014, was wanted for alleged unjustified enrichment and money laundering.

Italian agents identified the fugitive after he checked into a hotel in the center of the Italian city and was identified on the street.

Adolfo De Obarrio had reserved a room for the next 25 days in the central Via Torino and at the time of his arrest he wore a beard, a hat and was wearing a mask, which is mandatory to transit in Italy due to the coronavirus, according to local media.

He also had a Panamanian and an Italian identity card, since he has dual nationality, and the investigators believe that he had been in the European country for a long time thanks to a series of contacts, reports "Il Corriere della Sera".

After spending the night in police stations, his possible extradition will depend on the Milan Court of Appeal, which will soon have to evaluate the accusations against him and his eventual delivery to the Panamanian authorities.

Adolfo "Chichi" De Obarrio, implicated in several corruption cases in Panama, left his country in 2014. The Italian Police explained that the charges against him could carry a maximum penalty of twelve years in prison.

Among others, he is being investigated for his alleged involvement in acts of corruption in public contracting during the Martinelli government through the defunct National Aid Program (PAN), today the Social Investment Fund (FIS).

De Obarrio is also involved in Panama in the purchase with alleged cost overruns of dehydrated food, a case of corruption that caused patrimonial damage to the State of 44.9 million dollars.

Italy and Panama signed an Extradition Treaty and another on Judicial Assistance in Criminal Matters in November 2013, precisely during the government of Ricardo Martinelli.

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