COBERTURA ESPECIAL - Latin America

April 01, 2015 - 12:00 ( Brasília )

Máximo Kirchner held bank accounts abroad with Nilda Garré, says financial sector investigator

The son of Argentina´s president, Cristina Kirchner, is said to have been a joint accountholder in million-dollar bank accounts in the United States and Cayman islands with Argentina´s former ambassador to Venezuela

Máximo Kirchner, the son of Argentina´s president, Cristina Kirchner, held joint accounts in the United States and Cayman Islands with ambassador Nilda Garré, an American specialist in investigating the financial sector has told VEJA.

The first account, number 00049859852398325985, was opened in October 2005 with Felton Bank, an American bank, in the name of Business and Services IBC, a company based in the tax haven of Belize. The owners of the offshore account were Nilda Celia Garré, Henry Olaf Aaset and Máximo Carlos Kirchner. Aaset was a member of the provincial assembly of Santa Cruz and the Kirchners´ lawyer. The first deposit in the account was made from the Venezuelan capital Caracas. The balance in April 2010 was US$ 41.7 million.

The second account, number 0004496857463059686359385, was opened in December 2006 from Luxembourg with Morval Bank & Trust Ltd., headquartered in the Cayman Islands. The accountholders were Nilda Celia Garré, Maria Paula Abal Medina (Nilda Garré´s daughter) and Máximo Carlos Kirchner. The balance in April 2010 was US$ 19.8 million, according to the source in the financial sector from whom VEJA obtained the information. It was not possible to confirm the ownership of the accounts independently.

On Sunday, March 29, the Argentinean newspaper Clarín published an article in which it claimed that Nilda Garré had held bank accounts in the United States and Iran. One of the accounts mentioned by the newspaper was with Felton Bank, headquartered in the American state of Delaware, and amounted to US$ 61.5 million between 2005 and 2010.

The Iranian bank account was said to have been opened on April 28, 2011. This occurred only three months after a secret meeting held in the Syrian city of Aleppo in which the foreign ministers of Iran and Argentina negotiated the creation of a truth commission that would serve to cover up Iranian participation in the 1994 attacks against the Jewish association Amia in Buenos Aires, according to the Argentinean prosecutor Alberto Nisman who was murdered in January of this year.

Nilda Garré has been an influential figure within the Argentinean government since the first days of the presidency of the late Néstor Kirchner. She was Argentinean ambassador to Venezuela, Defense minister, Security minister and is currently ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS). She denied to Clarín that she had maintained bank accounts in the United States and Iran.

VEJA revealed in an article published three weeks ago, based on statements by three former high-ranking officials of the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, now living in exile in the US, that the Iranian government had asked Chavez to persuade Argentina to share nuclear secrets in exchange for money. The former Chavez loyalists heard by VEJA also claimed that Nilda Garré, who was Argentina´s Defense minister at that time, was in charge of handling this matter with her counterparts in Iran and Venezuela. However, the former Chavez supporters were not able to say whether Argentina ended up reaching a concrete deal to help the Iranians with their nuclear program.