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Rafael Ramirez involved in PDVSA $1.2bn money laundering scheme

Further to leak of co-conspirators of Francisco Convit and Matthias Krull in setting up a scheme that saw $1.2 billion worth of PDVSA funds misappropriated and laundered, this site can add new elements that point directly to Rafael Ramirez's door. The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) claims in its case against Convit that the scheme started from December 2014. However, the formula had already been tested in 2012, in a $4.1 billion near-identical replica, involving some of the same players. A probe in Andorra has shown that Rafael Ramirez headed - through his brothers, first cousins and cousins, PA, closest colleagues at PDVSA, and most trusted relatives / collaborators- a corrupt network of global reach. Convit's case is merely one exhibit.

It is now revealed that Banca Zarattini was used in the Convit scheme by Pedro Binaggia. Zarattini was the bank used by Wilmer Ruperti to pay Ramirez a $62.4 million bribe (see Intercontinental View Inc). Jesus Luongo, Ramirez's cousin and PDVSA's VP of Commerce & Supply, approved in December 2014 $260 million worth of PDVSA's disboursements to Ruperti, so Ramirez $62.4 million take could be paid by Ruperti.

Alvaro Ledo Nass, former legal counsel of PDVSA and identified as Conspirator #1 by DoJ, is described by sources familiar with Ramirez's affairs as Baldo Sanso's proxy. Baldo Sanso is Ramirez's brother in law, and was once Ramirez's sort of unofficial chargé d'affaires.

Information contained in Derwick Associates' email servers shows that fugitive Convit, Alejandro Betancourt (Conspirator #2), and Orlando Alvarado (Conspirator #4) communicated with Alvaro Ledo Nass (Conspirator #1), Victor Eduardo Aular Blanco (PDVSA legal counsel and Venezuelan Official #1), and crucially with Rafael Ramirez, in the period spanning 2009 - 2015.

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