Catholic World News News Feature
Ecuador Anti-Corruption Priest Wanted for Corruption April 30, 2003
An Ecuadorian priest who is now a fugitive from justice was officially suspended from ministry on Tuesday. Father Carlos Flores, who had been named to head the capital city of Quito's customs office as part of an anti-corruption drive in 2000, is accused of leading a corruption ring.
Father Flores was appointed on the recommendation of the Ecuador Bishops' Conference because of his reputation for honesty and political connections. But now the priest has been missing since last week when police tried to detain him in connection with an investigation into the corruption ring which is alleged to have cost the country $10 million.
Prosecutors said Flores is known to own expensive beachfront property and a luxury car. Police said they found slot machines when they raided one of his homes. The bishops' conference issued an apology for permitting Father Flores to be named to head the customs agency and for thinking a priest could help "moralize" the institution which has a reputation for corruption.