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Despite piling criminal probes, Derwick Associates' corruption continues

The WSJ posted yesterday "U.S. Targets Venezuela’s Maduro Regime With Fresh Charges, Sanctions". It's about criminal charges brought by the Justice Department (DoJ) against small time thugs (Leonardo Santilli, Lenny Rangel and Edoardo Orsoni), due to $146.6 million worth of procurement contracts obtained through bribe payments from joint ventures where PDVSA is the largest shareholder. So far, so common. Alejandro Betancourt, CEO of Derwick Associates and Derwick Oil & Gas (among other shells), got a mention in the article in the context of involvement in $4.5 billion money laundering scheme centered also at PDVSA. Betancourt and his partners (Francisco Convit, Pedro Trebbau, et al) are directly involved in money laundering schemes and procurement contracts worth in excess of $7.8 billion, yet Betancourt continues to live completely and utterly unencumbered by law enforcement in London and Madrid.

Moreover, Betancourt and his Russian FSB handlers are currently presenting an illegal 3.5 billion SEK claim in Sweden, through misrepresentation enacted by Setterwalls' Johan Strömbäck in administrators-led reorganisation process at Nynas, a Venezuelan-Swedish refiner majority owned by PDVSA.

Betancourt & co set up an Amsterdam shell (Gazprombank Latin America Ventures B.V.), which was then used to form a joint venture (Petrozamora) with Corporación Venezolana de Petróleo (CVP), for all practical matters a subsidiary of PDVSA. Petrozamora would then become Nynas' "main crude provider", according to internal communications of Victor Rivero (Nynas' representative in Venezuela). 

Banks servicing Nynas stopped doing business with it for fear of triggering secondary sanctions by the Treasury Department, which has placed PDVSA / Venezuela, as well as Gazprom, Gazprombank and many of its subsidiaries in its SDN list. Refusal from Nynas' banks to wire funds caused payments due to Petrozamora / PDVSA to accumulate (3.5 billion SEK).

Betancourt and his Russian handlers are staking a claim on that sum, through power of attorney given by GPB Energy Services to Setterwalls' Johan Strömbäck, despite the fact that they do not represent Petrozamora's majority shareholder (CVP with 60%). Setterwalls' Johan Strömbäck claims to courts, administrators and Swedish authorities to represent Nynas' "largest crude provider" are, therefore, a case of misrepresentation, as CVP has made no official announcement about having retained / instructed Strömbäck / Setterwalls to represent its interests in Nynas' reorganisation process. Besides, PDVSA is the majority shareholder in both Nynas and Petrozamora, hence it has no need to be represented through GPB / Setterwalls. They have a seat at the table, regardless, and can decide who gets what. Accepting GPB’s claim on the whole amount, when in control of Nynas and Petrozamora, makes no sense unless corruption is factored in.

While this happens in Stockholm, the WSJ reports about DoJ criminal investigations involving Betancourt. Spain's El Pais reports that Betancourt's Spanish partners (Cortina & Alcocer) gave a bribe to King Juan Carlos I, which might explain Spain's lack of action with regards to Betancourt. UK authorities are mum about Betancourt's activities and life in London. Venezuelan authorities allegedly arrested and immediately released Francisco Convit, Betancourt's wanted-by-DoJ partner. Nynas has thus far ignored calls to look into Betancourt's direct involvement in criminal activities. Worse still, Swedish authorities and administrators do not appear to have the slightest concern in accepting GPB's bogus claims.

In his native Venezuela, where billions were bilked from the State, Betancourt has had prosecutors / attorney generals under his thumb, thanks to partnerships with Rafael Ramirez, Diosdado Cabello, Nicolas Maduro, Raul Gorrin, Maikel Moreno and more recently Juan Guaido. In America, where DoJ seems keen on pursuing his criminal enterprises, he has employed the "very best" money can buy, from Fusion GPS to Adam Kaufmann, even Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is on his payroll. In Spain, suffice to say that nobody in that country's current political sphere will take him on. His tentacles go straight into Donald Trump's and Vladimir Putin's offices, and what strikes as almost fictional is his ability to carry on laundering stolen proceeds and dodge justice, for years, in different jurisdictions. Betancourt is so embedded within the power structures that matter in the real world, that without breaking a sweat he can make false representations through FSB operatives in Sweden, while showing the finger to DoJ and being described as a "matter of national security" by Donald Trump's lawyer.

If in normal conditions no authority / law enforcement could get Betancourt & co after a criminal career spanning a decade, Corona virus may well be what saves them forevermore.

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