The Bolivian senator Alberto Murillo denounced the former defense minister, Cecilia Chacon, for the purchase of six Chinese helicopters, Harbin H-425.
According to the senator, this purchase was made first and later formally approved. He also declared that such helicopters are underperforming in high altitude and lack modern avionics. “Eurocopter sent two proposals, one for six AS365 Dauphin helicopters for a total 87.2 million U.S. dollars. The other one for six EC145 which was to be paid even less, at 59.8 million U.S. dollars. -Chacon- instead chose a 108.7 million U.S. dollar proposal for H-425 helicopters (based on the french AS 365 Dauphin).
Murillo continued and said, “This has costed the Bolivian state an excess of 21 to 48 million U.S. dollars.” Years ago, all sorts of issues came up with these helicopters that were originally purchased for firefighting tasks, maintenance, logistics and even lack of qualified pilots. Most definitely considering the extent of the amazon fires today, this has become even more pressing.