An OCCRP investigation uncovers alleged embezzlement by President Nayib Bukele, diverting $200 million from a loan intended for economic relief to fund Bitcoin projects in El Salvador.
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has exposed a startling revelation regarding El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele. The investigation, released on October 31, reveals that funds intended for economic relief were misappropriated to support Bitcoin-related projects in the country. In 2021, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) provided a loan of $600 million to alleviate the nation’s economic woes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shockingly, only a mere $20 million of this substantial amount was directed towards its original purpose.
Instead, budget documents examined by OCCRP associates suggest that a significant portion, approximately $425 million, was utilized to fulfill “general state obligations.” More notably, over $200 million of these funds were channeled into making Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador, despite loan terms prohibiting such allocation. These findings cast a shadow over the “bitcoinization” process, prompting legal actions and controversy, including accusations of identity theft and financial mismanagement.