Last week I posted about latest filings in Otto Reich's RICO lawsuit against Derwick Associates. It presents quite an unexpected and interesting twist to the corruption saga: one of the defendants, Francisco D'Agostino, allegedly offered information on the other two defendants (Alejandro Betancourt and Pedro Trebbau) to Reich in "exchange for his dismissal" from the lawsuit. No honour among thieves, right? But D'Agostino was not acting alone in that offer, for Reich's counsel also claimed that an alleged "former Venezuelan government official who claimed to be an agent of D'Agostino, and who had flown to the United States on the private jet of D'Agostino's father-in-law [Victor Vargas], met with Ambassador Reich in Washington, D.C. This former government official told Ambassador Reich that if he would dismiss D'Agostino from the lawsuit, D'Agostino would provide Ambassador Reich with information about Betancourt and Trebbau that would substantiate the allegations set forth in Plaintiff's case." Added.
Readers of the Spanish version of this site might remember that our very own Tomás Lander outed the "former Venezuelan government official" as former Venezuelan Ambassador to the U.S. Ignacio Arcaya Smith. I wanted to ask Arcaya about Reich's counsel allegations, and after finding out his Twitter account (@gallopasion) asked whether the account really belonged to him. Arcaya replied, claiming that it was, and dismissed my questions by saying he didn't know who I was or what I was talking about (picture).
My questions to Arcaya must have piqued the interest of somebody among my Twitter followers, for next thing was an email by a source claiming that Arcaya -an employee of Vargas- received regular payments from Banco Occidental de Descuento (Victor Vargas' bank). Furthermore, the source claimed that $40,000 had been wired to Arcaya through BOI Bank, a "bank" owned by Victor Vargas in Antigua.
I googled a bit and was able to see that BOI Bank Corporation, was established on March 14, 1994, and changed its name from Banco Occidental International Ltd to BOI Bank Corporation on September 7, 1999. Its General Manager is Santos Alonso. Mr Alonso is related also to Allbank, another "bank" owned by Vargas in Panama. Santos' name appears associated with Banco del Orinoco NV (company no. 64808), another Vargas front registered in Curaçao, where he shares board responsibilities with Joel Santos Tobio, Loes Pieternel De Bot, Carlos Silva Alcala, Jaime Hernan De Sola, Vargas and Luis Alfonso De Borbon Martinez Bordiu, Vargas' other son-in-law and grand-son of Spain's late caudillo Francisco Franco.
My questions to Arcaya, on whether he could comment on Reich's counsel allegations left a lot to be desired, from a diplomat that is: he locked access to his Twitter account.
There's plenty of evidence of Arcaya partaking in Vargas' banks institutional events, in which the former Ambassador has been photographed inches away from Vargas and D'Agostino. Flights, passport entries, and Homeland Security records can be used to demonstrate, in a matter of minutes, whether Arcaya went to DC in Vargas' GV to negotiate with Reich D'Agostino's future in the RICO lawsuit.
The above bodes very badly for Betancourt and Trebbau. Regardless of whether Arcaya wants to admit his involvement in public or not, having Vargas actively working to get his son-in-law and employee out of the lawsuit by offering information that would incriminate Betancourt and Trebbau must be driving them up the wall. A true internecine war within the Boliburgeoisie. Vargas comes from scoring an important "coup": by fronting the Maduro regime acquisition of Cadena Capriles, he got green light for the merger of his BOD with CorpBanca. This episode, if Reich's claims are true, also reveals the sheer parochialism of Bolivarian bankers and former Venezuelan diplomats. Did they not think that such offers and visits would come back to haunt them? Do they not know that the other side, Betancourt and Trebbau, probably have as much dirt on them? Bring the popcorn!!