Joshua Goodman has a piece about Wilmer Ruperti. In short, a cargo of gasoline was to be loaded onto Alkimos vessel in Cristobal (Panama), to be delivered to Aruba, where it was due to be ship-to-ship transfered to Beauty One, a vessel used by PDVSA for cabotage. Ruperti must've thought the Alkimos could just transfer load and that would be the end of it. Given that sanctions were already in place, parties controlling Alkimos got scared and set sail for the Gulf Coast, where a court is about to auction its cargo.
Sources informed this site about Ruperti's moves in late March. In early May, we poked the bear.
@POTUS @SecPompeo @stevenmnuchin1, I hear there’s some hanky panky going on here ? https://t.co/eRvq8XgYxx pic.twitter.com/XBd31PuCfz
— Alek Boyd “Plagiarism is corruption” (@infodi0) April 9, 2020
Wilmer Ruperti, we have said it in the past, was a tanker master that got creative during PDVSA's oil strike in 2002. He rushed to Asdrubal Chavez, Ali Rodriguez, and Rafael Ramirez to, erm, swear allegiance to the revolution and avail himself to break the chokehold that striking workers had on PDVSA. He managed to get Russia's Novoship's corrupt managers on board, and the rest, as they say, is history. For many years he was the go-to guy for all shipping needs PDVSA had, two and three timing everyone involved, and becoming minted in the process. The sanctions regime imposed by U.S. Treasury on Venezuela's regime / PDVSA has presented Ruperti with a new, much needed, opportunity to "get creative".
Loss of refining capacity and crude output has put chavismo in the shameful position of having to import gasoline to cover supply. This, in the country with the largest oil reserves and the largest refinery complex in the Western Hemisphere, speaks volumes about the kind of management these thugs run. Ever the opportunist, Ruperti is now importing gasoline...
Goodman's piece, however, comes with something new: Michael Volkov and Hans Hertell are involved with Ruperti. We know Volkov and Hertell. They were hired by Derwick Associates back in the day, to spread disinformation and lobby U.S. authorities, so that Alejandro Betancourt and the other criminals that form Derwick wouldn't be prosecuted. This is pre Rudy Giuliani we're talking about, around the time Fusion GPS was on Derwick's payroll.
Oh, but there's more than just that coincidental choice of counsel, between Ruperti and Betancourt. Our sources tell us that MT Europride (IMO 9157777) is to discharge 75,000 barrels of Boscan crude to Aframax River (IMO 9259173), currently anchored in Amuay. That crude, as per our sources, belongs to Petrozamora, i.e. to Betancourt and his associate FSB's partners at GPB Global Resources, who are trying to market their own production, and then some from other PDVSA joint ventures in Lake Maracaibo area. Furthermore, Ruperti is said to be involved in the operation.
Thus Ruperti's plan is two fold: supply gasoline and trade / sell crude. Without a special OFAC license both legs are in breach of sanctions.
Ruperti's is trying to help / ingratiate himself with Nicolas Maduro. His plan is a replica of what he did for Hugo Chavez of course. Trouble for him, this time, is that he isn't dealing with striking Venezuelan oil workers, but with the U.S. government, its Federal Agencies and a sanctions regime of global scope.
Prosecutors in Florida are meant to have a sealed indictment ready for Betancourt, due to his involvement in vast money laundering schemes at PDVSA. It is, therefore, astonishing that neither Ruperti nor Betancourt have been sanctioned, given their track record (past and present) in Venezuela. These two are whales in the corrupt chavista ocean.