Five municipalities in Puerto Rico are being investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on charges that high-ranking city officials retain supplies provided by the central government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for hurricane Maria victims.
According to close sources, the municipalities investigated are Patillas, San Juan, Arecibo, Aguadilla and Vieques island.
The head of the federal prosecutor, Rosa Emilia Rodriguez acknowledged that they have received several complaints on the matter, but she declined to reveal which municipalities are investigated.
“We have FBI agents who this morning moved to one of the villages on the Island where they informed us that apparently the supplies delivered by FEMA were being stored, and are being kept for the political benefit of a person or some persons for them to ingratiate themselves politically, “said Rodríguez.
The official said that those who incur in this illegal practice could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.
Meanwhile, Department of Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez indicated that agents of the Special Investigations Bureau (NIE) work in coordination with federal authorities.
“Any irregularity that is detected in the delivery of supplies, or that the aid is not reaching the citizens, will be investigated rigorously, both at the state level and at the federal level,” said Vázquez.
At the state level, high ranking city government officials are taking advantage of their positions and are benefiting specific citizens of their choice and they will be investigated and prosecuted.
Citizens are urged to report irregularities of this type of behavior to the federal authorities.