Further to Bloomberg's reporting that Swiss authorities are collaborating with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's corruption probe into PDVSA and Derwick Associates, I posted an open letter, enclosed below.
Open Letter to Preet Bharara
Your requests for information to Swiss authorities, related to the investigation your office is conducting on Derwick Associates, has, at last, been confirmed.
As a direct victim of Derwick Associates, I sincerely hope your office will arrive at the only conclusion any serious probe into this matter can reach.
On 25 November 2013, I met in London with a Venezuelan lawyer called Amir Nassar Tayupe. Nassar was sent, in turn, by a Colombian individual called Alex Saab. During our meeting, Nassar said words to the effect that “Derwick’s people got in touch with us to propose actions to silence you”.
Saab’s “business” activities are the subject of fraud investigations by Ecuador’s Attorney General’s Office, while Nassar is one of Saab’s associates charged. But it was only a year later, after a break into my apartment and subsequent threats made against my children, that Nassar’s words came into perspective.
Derwick Associates are not your regular contractors. Beyond massive overprice charges that cost the Venezuelan State possibly over $1 billion, Derwick Associates has used American courts to sue critics; got its contacts with Venezuelan officials to censor my websites in Venezuela, raid and threatened perceived collaborators of mine in Caracas and is probably behind illegal surveillance, break in, theft and threats against my children in London; uses American lawyers to stiffle criticism into its affairs; uses American banks to launder millions of dollars through real estate acquisitions and investments; uses American politicians to spread lies and disinformation; and partnered with American companies in massive corruption rackets.
Your office is probably aware of its deals with JP Morgan. You are likely to find that Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) wired hundreds of millions of dollars to Derwick accounts in JP Morgan.
However, you might have missed some of Derwick Associates latest “business” ventures.
In July 2013, Reuters reported that PDVSA got $1 billion worth of funding from Russia’s Gazprom, for a project called PetroZamora. Sources leaked information pertaining regular communications between Derwick Associates, Boris Ivanov (Gazprom’s CEO), Rafael Ramirez, Eulogio del Pino, Victor Aular, Alvaro Ledo, Abraham Ortega and Renny Bolivar.
A document showing Orlando Alvarado (Derwick Associates COO) and Christophe Gerard (an associate of Boris Ivanov) as shareholders of PetroZamora was also leaked to me.
Derwick had previously done questionable deals with Gazprombank, while some of its American associates (Joe Bradford) had been Gazprom’s employees in the past. Sources report (unconfirmed) that Derwick and Gazprom have arranged some deals through a Swiss bank called Banca Credinvest (where Betancourt may be a shareholder), allegedly related to Antonio Pardo Andretta, brother of this other Pardo.
Francisco D’Agostino, another partner / associate of Derwick, admitted to paying “consulting fees” to obtain contracts in Venezuela. D’Agostino is also a partner of Derwick’s CEO (Alejandro Betancourt) in a Luxembourg vehicle called Dakar Financial Group (aka BDK Financial Group S.A.). The group claims to be seeking to establish banks and financial services in Africa, and uses a Portugal-based shell called 3anglecapital.
Separately, through debt-acquisition, D’Agostino got a stake in Harvest Natural Resources Inc. For that purpose, D’Agostino entered into a partnership in CT Energy and CTVEN Investments with Oswaldo Cisneros and Alejandro Bazzoni.
CT Energy and CTVEN Investments are currently being sued in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (case 1:15-cv-09003) for fraud.
Derwick Associates spent $250 million acquiring nearly 20% stake of Toronto-listed Pacific Energy. It used a variety of shells and proxies in that deal, including: Diego Marynberg from Argentina, Alberto Cortina from Spain and Bertrand Hagger from Switzerland, and Derwick’s own execs Orlando Jose Alvarado and Domingo Guzman Lopez.
Derwick also employs the services of former U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Hans Hertell, and a shell called White Bridge Capital, where Derwick’s COO Alvarado used to work. Hertell offered, on behalf of Derwick, oil and gas to Morgan Stanley.
As an anti corruption advocate, I welcome your sustained efforts to curtail the activities of these thugs, while hoping to learn soon about coming indictments.
I remain eager to contribute with information about Derwick Associates international activities and partners.