Nicolas Maduro and the then Minister of Industry and National Production, Tareck El Aissami, in mid-2019 they formed a web of partnerships abroad to circumvent the boycott and Washington sanctions. OKDIARIO unveils the documents that demonstrate the triangular operations to circumvent the embargo decreed by Donald Trump.
The president of Venezuela and the oil company PDVSA used a wide client network, in which they highlighted a international law firm with headquarters in the United States and the Thai company Tipco. Through this platform, the public hydrocarbon company could divert tens of millions of euros without US control, as can be seen in the documents in the possession of this newspaper.
The Chavista dictatorship faced, since Donald Trump signed an executive order in August 2019, harsh sanctions from the White House by which all the assets and interests of Venezuela in the United States were seized. The decree was justified by Maduro’s usurpation of power against the head of the opposition Juan Guaidó, whom Washington supported as the legitimate president, and for the repeated attacks by the Chavista regime on freedom of expression and human rights.
The United States had previously adopted sanctioning measures against a hundred high-ranking officials and Venezuelan companies in which PDVSA was located, which only produced about 400,000 barrels per day, at the same levels of the 1930s.
The figure was ridiculous and alarming if it was taken into account that PDVSA came to extract in the 90s more than three million barrels per day and it was the second largest oil company in the world, only behind the Saudi Aramco, but above large multinationals such as ExxonMobil, BP or Shell.
To overcome the economic storm, Maduro gave full powers to his henchman Tareck El Aissami. The former vice president of the Government and one of the pillars of Chavismo was appointed in April 2020 Minister of Petroleum with full powers. Nicolás Maduro entrusted him with the mission of refloating the jewel in the crown -PDVSA- and devising the machinery to circumvent the international embargo of the United States using third parties. The Maduro government had placed the country’s inflation at 1,000,000% and brought poverty to 51% of households.
The dictator Nicolás Maduro.The Tipco company, headquartered in Bangkok, which is dedicated to the production of asphalt, was one of the most important clients in Caracas. The firm, which is listed on the Thai market, has a turnover of more than 1,200 million dollars a year. Therefore, he presented the ideal profile to become one of the agents of the triangular operations devised by Tareck El Aissami to circumvent the American boycott.
The triangular machinery
The procedure designed by the Maduro government was as follows: Tipco paid PDVSA’s debts to international clients and suppliers and then deducted it from its business portfolio. In return, the Thais received an incentive to lower the price. In this way, Tipco society became a kind of bank, replacing the real credit institutions that refused to work with Maduro due to pressure from the US State Department. Following this procedure, Caracas managed to settle, among others, the debt of 10 million euros with a Russian company that had sold a fleet of trucks to the Venezuelan state of Aragua, when its governor was Tareck El Aissami, the mastermind of the plan.
This type of maneuver is reflected in one of the operations in which PDVSA, Tipco and an international law firm participate. The documents in the possession of OKDIARIO confirm that the vice president of Commerce and Supply of the Venezuelan oil company, Antonio Pérez Suárez, requested Tipco, on March 6, 2020, to transfer the amount of 500,486.48 euros to the law firm.
Three days later, the Thais conducted the banking operation through the Akbank TAS in Istanbul from the Siam Commercial Bank in Bangkok. The transferred figure coincides with the payment order of the Venezuelans held by this newspaper: 500,486.48 euros.
Triangular operations using Tipco were repeated several times. OKDIARIO has data from two other movements in 2020 amounting to 1,061,762.69 euros and 976,333 euros.
Tipco got special treatment from Tareck in return. PDVSA offered a discount per barrel of 25 dollars (20.45 euros) when the price of the unit was 40 dollars (32.73 euros). If the commitment between PDVSA and Tipco was consummated one hundred percent with the purchase of the agreed barrels, the benefit would have been very succulent: about 15 million euros. Given those figures, it was worth the risk of embarrassing the US authorities. The Thais, according to their own data from the company’s economic report, contracted with PDVSA to purchase almost 30,000 barrels a day.
According to investigations and documents held by OKDIARIO, Tipco, which was owned 32% by France’s Collas, transferred tens of millions of dollars from its account at the Siam Commercial Bank in Bangkok to clients of the Venezuelan oil company to complete the triangular operations.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) itself, the lobby that Venezuela and other Arab countries founded in 1960, received 2.3 million dollars (1.88 million euros) from Tipco.
The Thai company was reprimanded for the first time by the US embassy in Bangkok at the end of 2019, when Donald Trump was still the tenant of the White House. Later, under pressure from Washington, Tipco chose to break the secret agreement with Caracas.
In search and capture
The appointment of the former vice president and oil minister, Tareck El Aissami, a member of a family of Syrian descent rooted in Venezuela, was another slight for the United States. His name and his face appeared on the “search and capture” posters of the American federal agencies as one of the Venezuelan drug lords. Maduro’s henchman could not leave the borders of Venezuela low risk of arrest by Interpol officials in any of the 194 countries belonging to the police organization.
El Aissami had been on the list of the Office for the Control of Foreign Assets (OFAC) since 2017 due to its links with drug trafficking networks. The former Venezuelan vice president, with whom international companies negotiated to circumvent the embargo, was one of the members of what is known as Clinton list, which collects people and organizations suspected of having profited from drug money.
In addition, the person in charge of the Venezuelan oil industry, whom his officials already know as Terminator, was accused by the New York prosecutor, Robert M. Morgenthau, of providing Venezuelan passports to members of Hamas and Hezbollah when he was the head of Venezuela’s National Identification and Immigration Office (ONIDEX)
When Maduro and his minister Tareck launched the plan of salvation, the Bolivarian regime accumulated defaults of 1,800 million dollars (1,473 million euros) before the creditors who had bought part of the debt of the Venezuelan Treasury. One of those contracting parties claimed in court the return of 140 million of one of the bonds. The bankruptcy of the Bolivarian country’s economy was aggravated by the Trump embargo. The public debt was calculated at 140,000 million dollars (114,571 million euros).
Tareck traded everything he could in the public oil company PDVSA, the country’s main source of wealth, but he was unable to increase production, whose plummet put the number of barrels a day at the figures of the 1920s. Venezuela’s oil – the world’s first – runs the risk of dying silently. Already in 2017, PDVSA entered a situation of suspension of payments.
Meanwhile, Tareck El Aissami, Maduro’s strongman, justified the collapse of the state company with arguments for which Chavismo was solely responsible: “The fault lies with the criminals who managed to infiltrate the Venezuelan oil industry.”
Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and not edited by our team.
Source: Market Research Telecast