There's no rest for the wicked Rafael Ramirez. Beyond idiotic presidential aspirations that will never materialise, Ramirez is a hunted man. Add Portugal to U.S., Swiss, Andorra, Spanish and Venezuelan jurisdictions, where he remains a wanted man / person of interest. Many of his closest and most trusted partners-in-crime are in jail in some of those jurisdictions. The impending danger for Ramirez is that his lieutenants have already opened up. Abraham Shiera, Roberto Rincon and son, Luis Carlos de Leon, Abraham Ortega, Cesar Rincon Godoy, Rafael Reiter, Nervis Villalobos, Christian Maldonado, to name but a few, have either pleaded guilty, are about to do so or will, before the prospect of years in prison. All those fingers point to Ramirez. As both Minister of Energy and PDVSA CEO -for over decade- all large scale corruption stops at his door.
His two brothers have been named. His first cousin, his brother in law, his wife and mother in law, his closest colleagues and understudies at PDVSA, his bankers, the corrupt Boligarchs who dealt with him personally... There's no escaping the looting of hundreds of billions that Ramirez facilitated during his tenure.
Take Charles Henry de Beaumont for instance. Involved in a $4+ billion money laundering scheme with PDVSA. Who pitched the deal? Nervis Villalobos. Who gave the green light? Rafael Ramirez .
Take the probe in Portugal exposed by Luis Rosa here: how did Roberto Rincon and Abraham Shiera manage to syphon about €3.5 billion from PDVSA? Through a Banco Espirito Santo (BES) structure set up by Ricardo Salgado, whereby BES financed invoices presented by Rincon & co to BARIVEN (PDVSA subsidiary). Bribes were organized by Villalobos, and paid through a BES subsidiary in Dubai (ES Bankers Dubai). Who approved that? Ramirez. Better to quote original from Luis Rosa:
Na mesma altura em que Ricardo Salgado mandava uma equipa especial de auditoria de Lisboa para o Dubai para tentar resolver os problemas com a DFSA, Michel Ostertag e Paulo Murta terão acordado com Nervis Villalobos, Roberto Rincon e Abraham Shierra um novo esquema de financiamento do BES à Bariven para o pagamento das faturas em dívida juntos dos Grupos Shierra e Rincon.
Não deixa de ser irónico que a Bariven, uma filial de uma das maiores empresas petrolíferas do mundo com ativos superiores a 100 mil milhões de euros, necessitasse de financiamento de um pequeno banco (à escala global) como o BES quando trabalhava com os principais bancos mundiais.
Assim, as empresas de Roberto Rincon e de Abraham Shiera passaram a receber o dinheiro das suas faturas passadas à Bariven através de contas abertas na SFE do BES Madeira, sendo que o alegado suborno aos funcionários da Bariven e da PDVSA continuava a ser pago em contas do ES Bankers Dubai. Mais tarde, estas últimas contas foram igualmente transferidas para a SFE do BES Madeira.
Rosa reports that prosecutors from Spain, Switzerland and the U.S. Department of Justice collaborated with Portuguese counterparts, to make sense of the graft scheme set up by at BES Salgado and other players. New unknown names have emerged thanks to Rosa's reporting: Paulo Murta, Michel Joseph Ostertag, ICG Wealth Management (Dubai), Eagle Management (Fiji), Margarita Mendola Sanchez, Rafael Alfredo Cure Lopez, Arnoldo Cardenas Hernandez, Domingo Galán Macias, Angel Pereira, Rita Gonzalez Bello and Jorge Hernandez Gonzalez.
Rosa drops another bomb: Rafael Reiter -Ramirez's right hand man and chief of security- turns out to be fronting for none other than Samark Lopez Bello, in a shell called Safe Leader.
News that American, Spanish and Portuguese prosecutors are working together to unravel the largest corruption scandal of this century is quite extraordinary. It corroborates leaks and information being sent to this site. Switzerland prosecutors have also been foced -perhaps reluctantly- to collaborate with U.S. justice, owing to the sheer amount of PDVSA corruption that has taken place through Swiss banks, and Swiss energy trading companies.
Ramirez, with his pathetic holier than thou claims to be the ultimate defender of Hugo Chavez's legacy, seems to have forgotten that Hugo Chavez himself sacked his carnal Nervis Villalobos, for his involvement in corruption in project La Vueltosa. Instead of respecting Chavez's decision re Villalobos, Ramirez brought him through the back door, so their campaign of rampant corruption and extorsion could carry on unhindered.
Continuing with Venezuela's immoral saga, it is not just a coincidence that the Miami branch of Espirito Santo (Brickell Bank) would have been snapped by Joseph Benhamou, the thug behind Charles Henry de Beaumont and Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique. Let the money laundering continue...