Since five employees have been terminated at Guam International Airport for embezzlement of parking fees — and three have resigned — authorities are turning their attention to 72 bus companies involved in depriving the airport authority of thousands of dollars.
Douglas B. Moylan attorney general called for the community’s help. “We’re asking the public to come forward — even if they were involved in the alleged wrong doing. It will not only help complete our investigation it might help the individuals involved to receive some just resolution. People who cooperate with us will be treated more leniently than if we have to discover information through other means.
“That’s especially directed towards private bus companies.”
Moylan asked that members of the public contact the attorney general’s office on the case. “We are also asking that people deal directly with my office or contact James Cruz our lead criminal investigator as oppose to working with the airport police or airport management.”
He said the airport case was just one of several ongoing investigations.
Moylan also referred to public statements about the case by Jesse Q. Torres general manager of the airport. “The method in which the general manager has been conducting himself is unorthodox — holding press conferences and various other PR endeavor . … It’s a disjointed legal direction. We are unable to speak with airport personnel without their counsel being present and billing the airport.”
He said such actions interfered with the forward momentum on the case “We are not prosecuting the case yet ” and also emphasized the need for support of the AG’s office by the legislature and the oversight chairman Sen. Robert A. Klitzkie chairman of the Committee on Judiciary Government Operations & Re-organization.
Edith I. Pangelinan acting general manager and deputy manager at the airport told the Journal the amount embezzled might be anywhere from $30 000 to $70 000. “Airport police are still trying to obtain that information from accounting ” she said.
She said from 1998 to 2001 the lot was managed by one contractor — GUM Corp. later known as JRL Boshi. In doing business with them the airport had incurred some losses.” The contract was terminated Pangelinan said but owing to a lack of records there was no investigation. Losses continued when the airport authority took over direct management of the parking lot she said.
Pangelinan said 72 tour bus companies are presently permitted to do business with the airport but that the high number was not unusual. “There always have been a lot ” she said.
“That’s not to say all of them have any involvement ” Pangelinan said. “I cannot disclose which companies are being investigated.”
She said when JRL Boshi was managing the parking lot and when the airport authority managed the parking lot “There were bus companies using vouchers and bus companies not using vouchers. Because of the privatization all of them now will be required to go to the voucher system. They are now extra cautious in the handling of all these transactions.”
Pangelinan said she was pleased that the general public had stepped forward to share knowledge of public sector corruption.
“I’m glad some people are coming forward and giving us some tips.” She has received communications concerning the investigation directly. “I did receive a couple —through the mail.” To her knowledge she said Torres had passed that information to the airport police who would have passed it to the attorney general’s office. “We are supposed to be sharing with the AG. We also have our legal counsel involved. The airport’s responsibility is the administrative side of the house; the criminal side falls within the purview of the Guam Police Department and the airport police and the attorney general.
Management of the parking lot was awarded to PacAir Ltd. on June 13 (See “Airport privatizes parking operations ” in the June 13 issue of the Journal.). Pac Air will pay to GIAA a minimum annual guarantee or a percentage of gross sales. Percentages are graduated and are based on gross revenues over a five-year period starting at 10% through 25% during the final year of a five-year contract. MBJ