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Spain's tax authority after Alejandro Betancourt

In its latest weekly publication Gotham City published "Le fisc espagnol s'intéresse aux comptes suisses d'Alejandro Betancourt." As is typical in anything related to "entrepreneur" Betancourt, it turns out he hasn't been forthcoming regarding his global income and assets, which, as a resident in Spain, he must declare. With respect to tax payments over the years in Venezuela (where Betancourt "made his wealth"), he has never paid his due to SENIAT, Venezuela's tax authority under David Cabello's (Diosdado Cabello's brother) control. In the UK, which is another jurisdiction where Betancourt maintains a residence (right next to Jacob Rees Mogg), tax authorities (HMRC) are almost certainly clueless about the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been moved throughout the world by dozens of shell companies controlled by Derwick Associates' main man.

Both Spain and the UK share equal provisions regarding tax residency: 183 days in country makes a person liable to pay taxes, in either jurisdiction.

Gotham City posted a list of shells related to Betancourt: Diamond Sparkle Group Inc., Paskel Finance Limited in Panama; IPC Investments Corp., Derwick Oil & Gas Corp., ZGR International Corporation, Tech Fund Investments Corp., Derwick Associates Corporation, and Festive Ventures Inc. in Barbados; Ming International Sarl, Latin America Ventures S.A.R., Gainsboro Developments in Luxembourg; Kayland Holdings Ltd. in Saint Kitts & Nevis; Simi Investments Management Ltd. in BVI, and Centro Tecnológico de Turbinas in Venezuela.

There are more Betancourt companies that Agencia Tributaria seems to have missed. Critically, the very Swiss bank (Banca Credinvest) in which Betancourt declared an interest. O'Hara Financial, another Luxembourg shell used by Betancourt to launder substantial amounts, also escaped the Spanish tax man. Gazprombank Latin America Ventures and the billions made in partnership with PDVSA (Petrozamora) were surprisingly given a miss too.

Betancourt fought Swiss authorities' decision to share information related to companies mentioned, as well as details of 17 bank accounts under his control. The Swiss Federal Court ruling states (translation):

"The requesting authority said that an investigation into the income tax of Alejandro Betancourt was conducted for the years 2015-2017. The requesting authority requested information on four bank accounts identified by IBAN, which were held at the P. SA (hereinafter: information holder). In addition, the requesting authority requested information on any (further) bank accounts to the information holder, for which either Betancourt, properly authorized persons or beneficial entitled persons acted as a bank account holder. The requesting authority has information that the latter had received indirect funds from the four bank accounts mentioned above. Betancourt had used the funds received, at least partly, for personal expenses and the renovation of an accommodation in Madrid that he used from mid-2015. He also made significant investments in Spain during the period in question, with the majority of funds used by the aforementioned bank accounts. The requesting authority also stated that there were numerous indications that Betancourt had his tax residency in Spain in the period in question. Thus, his spouse and the two children who had been born in the period in question lived in Spain. Spanish bank cards were regularly used. In addition, the Spanish authorities had an excerpt from a migration document from Venezuela, which had indicated Madrid as the "main destination". Betancourt also has staff in Spain and lives in real estate owned by its companies. He had indicated on various documents that he had his residence in Madrid. The requested information is likely to be significant to determine the worldwide income and assets of the data subject. As a tax-resident person in Spain, he is taxable in his worldwide income and assets."

Betancourt injected millions to Hawkers, the Spanish sunglasses startup, and has spent millions in real estate acquisitions in Spain. In his attempt to deny Agencia Tributaria from getting information, Betancourt argued that he has nothing to do with bank accounts and activities of list of companies provided, which are independent in his view. He also pleaded statute of limitations, which was also rejected.

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