HAVANA – Cuban authorities have summoned a Mexican businessman in connection with a corruption probe, echoing previous cases in which foreigners were ultimately charged in absentia and had their local businesses seized.
A note published in the government’s Official Gazette says Alfredo Jaime Capetillo has until Wednesday to present himself to the Interior Ministry official in charge of the investigation.
The Gazette says the 57-year-old Mexican national is accused of bribery, but does not give further details. It adds that if he fails to appear, authorities will take additional, unspecified steps. In the past, that has meant issuing arrest warrants and holding trials without the defendants present.
Capetillo’s whereabouts were not immediately clear, and phone calls to the Panama offices of his company, International ABC Import-Export, were not answered Monday.
President Raul Castro’s government has sought to crack down on endemic graft in recent years, leading to dozens of criminal convictions of Cuban executives, government officials and foreign businesspeople.
Authorities have used the Gazette before to announce corruption investigations targeting foreigners, as in the case of Chilean brothers Max and Marcel Marambio.
The Marambios were later sentenced in absentia to long prison terms and had their local business operations taken over by the state.