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Derwick kicked out of Petrozamora?

Believing a word coming from official chavista sources is fraught with risk. Since 1999, chavismo has broken one promise after the next and has failed to deliver on everything it said it would. After all, the one thing it did achieve -which is the complete destruction of Venezuela- was never promised, never a campaign slogan, never a party mantra. The alleged rescinding of Gazprombank Latin America's (read Derwick & Putin's people) participation in Petrozamora might just be one of the latest exhibits of chavismo's mendacity.

Company records in Luxembourg have details about a company called Latin America Ventures SARL (LAV). It has the usual Derwick people associated with it (Orlando Alvarado and Cesar Larrain Landaez). Its ultimate beneficiary owner is, of course, Alejandro Betancourt.

In its latest accounts, for 2020, LAV claims it has assets worth €253 million. LAV also claims that it has a 100% participation in a Dutch foundation called Stichting Administratiekantoor GBP LAV (company number 61191140). Note that this foundation has both GBP and LAV in its name. 

GBP most likely refers to GPB Global Resources B.V., another Dutch shell formed by Boris Ivanov and one in whose affairs Vladimir Anisimov is involved.

In the 2018 accounts filed by LAV the following statement is included:

"During the year 2015, Derwick Oil & Gas Corporation ("The Group") performed a restructuring of its holding structure. The Company has been incorporated in Luxembourg as a result of this restructuring. The shareholders decided to transfer the assets held by a Barbados used entity ("DOGC ") to the Company by way of contribution in kind. Based on these circumstances, the Company ensures the continuity of the activity previously carried out by DOGC.”

The assets LAV claims to possess -which came from Derwick Oil & Gas- almost certainly refer to the 40% participation that Gazprombank Latin America Ventures B.V. had / has in Petrozamora. Worth recalling that Gazprombank Latin America Ventures B.V. is another Dutch shell formed by Ivanov, Alvarado and Francisco Convit, and is the vehicle Derwick used to get into the Petrozamora deal with PDVSA.

Gazprombank Latin America Ventures was included by Treasury in the raft of sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Crimea in 2014, due to its association to Gazprom. 

GPB Global Resources is also a Treasury sanctioned entity.

Convit is a fugitive of the U.S. Department of Justice in connection to a $1.2 billion money laundering scheme, in which Betancourt and Alvarado are also involved as co-conspirators.

Swedish authorities disregarded all of the above when Nynas Bitumen's reorganisation process came about. Nynas itself fell under Treasury sanctions due to the fact that it was majority owned by PDVSA. To compound the issue, Nynas used to get most of its crude from Petrozamora, i.e. from Betancourt, Ivanov et al.

Still, Nynas went ahead with a completely fraudulent reorganisation in which Betancourt and Ivanov not only participated, but appointed legal counsel on behalf of PDVSA, which ended up diluting its share of Nynas to a level acceptable to Treasury.

Throughout the process, Betancourt & Ivanov retained control, while Convit was in Caracas, in his country club Alta Badia mansion, i.e. not in hiding. More recently, sources report Convit is pursuing further subterfuge trading to market millions of barrels of Petrozamora crude oil kept in PDVSA storage.

Eventually, PDVSA lost control of Nynas. An American investment management firm called Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP bought most of Nynas' outstanding debt for cents on the dollar and seized majority. This site's understanding is that a mezzanine loan that Derwick had put in place with Nynas (some $200 million) was disfavoured, read DK is in no rush to pay it back.

Interestingly, LAV continued to claim possession of that asset in its accounts, latest for 2020 filed in July 2021, despite Treasury sanctions regime affecting Nynas starting in earnest in August 2017, and its reorganisation process concluding in January 2021.

Neither PDVSA, much less Petrozamora as provider nor indeed Gazprombank Latin America Ventures have much say in Nynas after January 2021. Furthermore, it is very unlikely that a Dutch foundation can have a participation worth €253 million in Petrozamora. A stake that has been seized in Venezuela is worth nothing, unless Betancourt, Convit and Ivanov go to court.

In any case, the official announcement regarding Venezuela's seizure of stake held by GPB Global Resources in Petrozamora is, at the very least, confusing according to LAV's accounts.

Ultimately, who owns the stake: is it Gazprombank Latin America Ventures B.V. as reported in Venezuela's Official Gazette, or is it GPB Global Resources? How about Stichting Administratiekantoor GBP LAV?

As far as this site's research goes, there are no official Venezuelan documents registering change of stake ownership from Gazprombank Latin America Ventures B.V. to GPB Global Resources. None of the media reporting on this issue have mentioned Stichting Administratiekantoor GBP LAV, or Latin America Ventures SARL.

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