(Comptroller: I feel very comfortable in my position)
Criminal Corruption: There is an interesting interview with Carlos Machado Allison in today’s El Universal. But what caught my attention was the side note on the milk that was imported by Pudreval with melamine from China.
The milk contaminated with melamine was a scandal in 2008 of contaminated milk found in many countries. What is interesting is that Machado Allison, a food expert, says that Venezuela was not among the recipient countries of the tainted milk exported from China.
What this appears to imply is that the milk was purchased in the secondary market at a cheap price, after the scandal broke. Thus, there was not only an act of corruption, the milk was imported as if it was good quality milk, but lower prices were paid for it, but high prices were charged to PDVSA. But the biggest and most criminal act of corruption is that this milk endangered Venezuelan citizens, particularly children. This is simply unacceptable and should be looked into and investigated, but where is the People’s Defender when this things happen?
Truly criminal corruption
The lucky winner style corruption: When a big infrastructure project comes up for bids, companies make a special effort to bid low, simply because once a subway system project or training gets built by a company, the technology is so locked in that if you win the initial bid, you will have recurrent revenues from the project in the future. Such was the case of Caracas’s Metro where the French locked in the original contract and have continude to receive the contracts for new lines and maintenance.
Because this time, the French submitted a bid for US$ 1.86 billion for the overhaul of Line 1 of the Caracas subway (Page A6 El Nacional) for US$ 1.86 billion.
And watch the dates now, Chavez approved US$ 1.86 billion on February 13 2008.
June 13 2008: A Spanish “consortium” presents its bid for US$ 1.856 billion
August 4th. 2008. The “consortium” is approved as the “winner”
September 25th 2008: The “consortium is legally registered for the first time
October 3d. 2008: Contract is signed!!!
There you have it, the Government negotiates with a non-existent consortium for months and only after it has been “approved” is the consortium legalized and registered.
This violates everything single bidding law, regulation in Venezuela and then some…
It was all “pre-arranged” , they were just the “lucky winners”, even if they did not exist. Let’s hope the French subway cars learn to speak Spanish technology…
And the missing funds type of corruption: The head of the union of CVG (fomerly a member of Chavez’ PSUV party) wrote a letter to Minister Giordani asking about the now famous or infamous US$ 500 million sold against future shipments of Aluminum. It is a strange story. Russia’s Gazprombank paid the money into its Lebanese affiliate
Supposedly the money would be used to improve the infrastructure of the Aluminum plant.
But the money is nowhere to be found. It was transferred to the Ministry of Finance. However, the Minister for Basic Industries says it was used to pay suppliers. Even an Argentinian-Venezuelan that is involved in the 15% commissions says the money was used to solve the electricity problem.
The problem is that 4 years of aluminum exports were sold and without the money, the plants will not be able to produce it. It’s robolutionary Catch-22…
Money was obtained for one purpose, but in the mismanagement of the revolution, it is used somewhere else. Under Venezuela corruptions laws, this is illegal and punishable with jail. Except that nobody is going to go after Giordani, Sanz or any of those involved.
That’s the way it is, if you are with Chavez you have a magic shield, if not, you are screwed, even if you did nothing…
But it is corruption, nevertheless.