The email came from a fellow journalist at Colombia's W Radio, asking for information about Trenaco and/or Alex Saab. The issue at hand was a contract, believed to exceed $7 billion USD, that Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) granted to Trenaco through subsidiary PetroMiranda. Readers of this site may remember my previous investigations into multimillion dollar fraud involving Saab and his Fondo Global de Construcción companies in Venezuela, Ecuador, Malta, Spain and so on.
[DO READ THIS UPDATE] I was meant to have a meeting with Alex Saab on Monday, 25th November. Expectedly, he didn't show up, sending instead a Venezuelan lawyer called Amir Nassar. Nassar came to London to "open a communication channel" with me. He wanted to meet face to face and "get the conversation" going.
Following the tip of a collaborator, I was able to create the map above. Further information can be seen by either placing the cursor above links between entities, or clicking those links. Try and be precise.
Good old Setty tweeted the other day about Doing Business in Venezuela. According to its mission, Doing Business is a "project [that] provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 189 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level." Doing Business ranks Venezuela in 181 place, out of 189 economies measured. That is, according to Doing Business there's only 8 other economies in the world where, overall, doing business is worse in every measurable aspect than in Venezuela.