THE Imo State government has confirmed the arrest of Jose Lopez-Pepe, a Spanish contractor and director in a construction company handling projects in the state by the Interpol.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr Ebere Uzokwa, made this known in a statement issued in Owerri on Friday.
The statement said that Lopez-Pepe was arrested by Interpol in Lagos.
Uzokwa said the suspect, who is a Director of Hormipresa Nig. Ltd., had been handed over to state police command.
He said that Lopez-Pepe was arrested following alleged move to divert 1.6 million euros meant for the purchase and supply of some materials for the execution of a contract awarded to the company.
He added that the suspect was arrested following a petition written by the Managing Director of the company, Mr Emmanuel Emenike.
The aide said the company had secured contracts worth about N3.5 billion from the state government.
Uzokwa said that the government had released 30 per cent of the amount totalling over N1 billion to the company as mobilisation fees.
He said that the managing director of the company had transferred the N1.6 million euros to Lopez-Pepe’s Spanish bank account for the purchase of the equipment.
Uzokwa said that the Spaniard, however, allegedly failed to supply the materials, which made the managing director to alert the Interpol.
Meanwhile, the Imo State government has petitioned the appropriate Spanish authorities and the bank, requesting immediate repatriation of the funds.