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September 2020

When Diego Salazar wanted to launder money in Paris, FTPA and Jean-François de Clermont-Tonnerre came to help

Diego Salazar is this unpresentable thug whose only redeeming and unearned feature is to have a first cousin called Rafael Ramirez. Ramirez was President of PDVSA and Venezuela's Minister of Energy for over a decade, during which he ensured that his closest family and collaborators were given plenty of opportunities for corruption. As PDVSA CEO, he forced Diego Salazar as main intermediator between Chinese companies receiving billions worth of procurement contracts from Venezuela and PDVSA.

What did the Obertos sign with DoJ, to be let go?

Thus far, with respect to Venezuela, that #FinCENFiles thing has been a huge let down. Alejandro Ceballos and Samark Lopez got early mentions. Then it was the turn of Alejandro Betancourt. And today is the Obertos case, where the Miami Herald, and whoever they're talking to at DoJ, just burned the guy that was helping them unravel the gargantuan corruption that took place at PDVSA under Rafael Ramirez' leadership. As usual, the Miami Herald piece just confirms information already published here, months after the fact:

PDVSA exposes Switzerland's systemic corruption problem

The recent revelation that a Swiss watchdog had frozen $900 million in cash belonging to an Angolan "businessman" caused surprise in some quarters. Evidently, those surprised must have forgotten already the FIFA scandal. They must have missed also news about Michael Lauber. For those who haven't been following, that'd be Switzerland's Attorney General, basically in bed with the FIFA thugs he was meant to be investigating. We then have Swiss banks, historically the pride and joy and a considerable chunk of Switzerland's economy.

Leonardo Santilli, PDVSA contractor, killed in Venezuela

Local sources in Venezuela reported yesterday the assassination of Leonardo Santilli, a PDVSA contractor. Santilli was already in the crosshairs of U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) for bribing PDVSA officials to obtain procurement contracts, which is PDVSA's standard operating procedure. The novelty here is that Santilli appears to have been hit by contract killers, allegedly due to his disposition to collaborate with DoJ.

PDVSA exported over 16 million barrels of crude in August

PDVSA has found a way to beat sanctions from U.S. Department of the Treasury. According to shipping line up data seen by this site, it exported a total of 16.5 million barrels of crude in August. Spain's Repsol, Italy's ENI and India's Reliance regularly lifted crude. In addition, new completely unknown and dodgy operators associated to Alex Saab's network continued taking crude to Singapore, for StS transfer onto China-bound cargoes.