Bananera Noboa brings lawsuit against IRS director

In the last 24 hours, the legal team of businessman Álvaro Noboa initiated a gambit as a counterattack to the process pursued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Yesterday, the Exportadora Bananera Noboa brought a criminal lawsuit for alleged slander against IRS director, Carlos Marx Carrasco. In the document, the lawyers say that the official’s statements are “an affront, dishonest and denigrating,” given that they accuse the banana producer of “dishonest actions”. It also asks for compensation of US $80 million dollars in moral damages. Arturo Icaza, manager of the banana producer, and Francisco Lascano, finance director, signed the lawsuit.

The IRS is carrying out a process of collecting a tax adjustment of US $85 million plus interest from the business, for unpaid Revenue Taxes for the year 2005. Last week, it notified the business of having initiated coercive payment procedures and an embargo.

Noboa, however, is seeking to defend himself correspondingly. Last Tuesday, the banana exporter applied for an exception.

Fernando Alarcón, legal director of the Noboa Group, said that the application was to halt the embargo and the coercive payment the IRS applied by the IRS. “With this measure, the Revenue will not be able to carry out the collection and should submit to a review”. Furthermore, he said that he will resort to a new recourse in case the review, applied for last week in the Second Court of the Treasury Tribunal, is not accepted.

Meanwhile, yesterday in Quito, Xavier Arraut, legal representative of Casandra and Natacha Sicre Noboa, nieces of Noboa, also turned to the Treasury Commission. The proposition was to ask for oversight by the Assembly of the legal actions initiated in order to defend their inheritance rights. It is also aimed at evading suppositions of fraud against the Treasury.

Vicente Taino, PRIAN Assembly member, questioned the meeting of Silvia Salgado, of the Treasury Commission, with Arraut. He explained that Noboa is not a public official and therefore could not come under investigation by the Legislature. He believes that Salgado is intervening in a private affair with the aim of generating a “political uproar”.