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Preview: Alek Boyd

Alek Boyd

"He who surrenders his intellect to that of other, for the sake of an ideology, creed or belief, commits the supreme act of denying its own self."

Updated: 2018-04-19T11:51:48.055+00:00


Setting the record straight on Rafael Ramirez's corruption at PDVSA


Rafael Ramirez. Venezuela's oil minister between 2002 and 2014. CEO of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) between 2004 and 2014. During his tenure in PDVSA, the company's turnover was 1,246 trillion USD, as per own figures "audited" by KPMG.1,246 trillion USD worth of income, in a country of about 30 million people. Ramirez claimed, for the first time ever as far as I am aware, that during his tenure PDVSA handed 480 billion USD to the Venezuelan State.1,246 - 480 = 766 billion USD.By way of comparison, Ramirez's claim to have handed over 480 billion USD leaves an amount that exceeds the TARP bailout.Venezuela is on the brink of default, nursing around 150 billion USD worth of debt. Venezuela's  reserves are under 10 billion USD. PDVSA's oil production is reported to have fallen below 2MPD.So where's the money?Andorra's GDP is 3.2 billion USD. Close associates of Ramirez misappropriated 4.2 billion USD using Banca Privada D'Andorra, in just one deal.PDVSA granted over 30 billion USD in contracts between 2012 and 2015: 20% of that went to non-existing companies, while some of the rest was granted -without bidding- to close associates of Ramirez.New York's Southern District's Attorney's Office has exposed Fidel Ramirez (brother of Ramirez) as bribe recipient in energy related corrupt practices approved by Ramirez.Roberto Rincon, another corrupt businessman associated to Ramirez, was indicted for his participation in a corrupt scheme that cost PDVSA over 1 billion USD.Nervis Villalobos, a trusted lieutenant of Ramirez, sits in a cell in Spain for his participation in bribe payments and procurement corruption associated to PDVSA.Ramirez is also directly involved, through Villalobos, in granting no-bid contracts to Derwick Associates.Diego Salazar (first cousin of Ramirez) was arrested in Venezuela for his participation in a multimillion dollar graft scheme related to PDVSA's insurance policies.Jesus Enrique Luongo (cousin of Ramirez and PDVSA's Refining VP) was arrested when trying to board a plane in Caracas' international airport for his involvement in Salazar's insurance schemes.Balso Sanso (Ramirez's brother in law) was given an extra official role negotiating, on PDVSA's behalf, bidding processes related to Orinoco's oil belt.Wilmer Ruperti, a parvenu businessman involved in shipping schemes with PDVSA, claimed in court documents that Ramirez personally approved his corrupt enterprise.Eudomario Carruyo (former PDVSA's VP of Finance) is involved -as it will be exposed soon- in Salazar's corruption ring centered in Andorra, and was integral in a 500 million USD Ponzi scheme involving PDVSA's workers' pension funds.Ramirez, along with Eulogio del Pino (arrested) and Jose Luis Parada (wanted & on the run), was instrumental in the Aban Pearl / Petro Saudi scandal. The Pantin brothers, recipients of over 1 billion USD worth of no-bid contracts under Ramirez's tenure, acted as facilitators.Ramirez was key in gifting Williams F1 Team over 100 million USD so that Pastor Maldonado could play car racer.It is estimated that Ramirez oversaw transfer of over 20 billion USD in oil shipments, to Cuba and other pariah states in the Caribbean basin, through Petro Caribe.ALBANISA, another scam set up on Ramirez's watch between PDVSA and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, amounted to 3.5 billion USD, or some 27% of Nicaragua's GDP as of 2015. The above are just some of the known scandals directly touching Ramirez. As he said recently, PDVSA is "a 234 companies holding" that "grants over 100,000" contracts as a matter of regular practice. His claims to have never been involved in corruption though, amount to little else than flat-earth syndrome.Anyone who's been following Venezuela's monumental graft knows that almost all roads lead to Ramirez. Joint ministerial oversight and executive power of Venezuela's only cash cow leave Ramirez without recourse, or defence. His position is utterly untenable. As all Venezuelan thugs, he is thinking about leveraging vast amounts of incriminating evidence, accumulated and collected over the years, to free h[...]

Meet Steve Levine Fusion GPS apologist


Meet Steve Levine, according to "eager to hear from you at"Not so eager though, when it comes to explaining the kind of work his mates at Fusion GPS have done in Venezuela. In a recent article, LeVine paints a rosy picture of Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, two of the three 'reporters' con artists behind bespoke, and highly lucrative, smear campaigns.It was this bit of LeVine's hagiography about Fusion GPS that caught my attention:"They are seriously savvy at finding extremely hard-to-locate — and even more difficult to understand and contextualize — documents and other intelligence on globally powerful people and organizations."Seriously savy people know that Venezuela is, easily, America's most corrupt country. Seriously savy people know who Hugo Chavez is, and who his succesor (Nicolas Maduro) is. Seriously savy people know the kind of mess Venezuela is in as a result of chavismo's policies. Seriously savy people also know that in Venezuela millions of dollars worth of procurement contracts are, as a matter of course, granted to whoever offers contracting bodies the biggest bribe.Seriouly savy people, those who know how to use PACER, also know this thing called Google. It is, for seriously, and not so seriously, savy people, the first port of call nowadays when it comes to establishing bona fides.So what to say about involvement of LeVine's "seriously savy" Fusion GPS friends with Venezuela's Derwick Associates? Mind you, when Fusion GPS started working for Derwick, a simple Google search would have returned results about rampant corruption related to a multibillion dollar swindle in procurement of power plants in Venezuela.So I confronted LeVine's cretinous arguments on Twitter, to which he replied "Link to evidence that Fusion carried out what you describe."I must pause here, and explain the evidence I provided. Fusion's Peter Fritsch travelled to Caracas, in July 2014, with Adam Kaufmann. The purpose of the trip was to block further reporting from the Wall Street Journal into Derwick's corruption in Venezuela.I was told by sources present at the Caracas meeting that Derwick, assisted by Fritsch and Kaufmann, spent an inordinate amount of time smearing me, and my work. Why my work? Because of my investigations into Derwick Associates.When they could a word in, Derwick Associates were asked by Wall Street Journal reporters whether they would go on record with their allegations against me. Derwick refused. Derwick execs were also asked to provide official evidence proving procurement contracts granted resulted after open, fair and competitive bidding. Derwick failed to do so. It failed then, in July 2014, and it has done ever since whenever questions about their corrupt ways are asked. Since that encounter in Caracas, I have published official evidence of corruption in procurement contracts granted to Derwick.My apartment, in London, was broken into in November 2014. Coincidence? Fusion GPS knew the kind of information I had about them in August 2014:From: Thomas Catan Subject: Re: Peter FritschDate: 26 August 2014 at 14:30:31 BSTTo: alek boyd This is really creepy, Alek. You conducting surveillance these days or wtf?On Aug 26, 2014, at 8:25 AM, Alek Boyd wrote:Hi Tom,further to my recent email about possible work that your company could be doing in Venezuela, have a look below at what I have just received. It would be a surprise that a colleague of yours is working for the type of thugs I have been exposing for many years now, and I would hate to think that you were economical with the truth with me about your company's involvement with such people, to the point of denying involvement.As you know very well, I have been chronicling chavismo for nearly 12 years now. You know me, you know what I stand for. You also know well that there are no secrets in Venezuela and that in the last decade or so I have developed an extensive network of contacts that keep me up to speed on things[...]

Derwick CEO Alejandro Betancourt acquires 10.29% of Pacific Rubiales


Statement from Fusion GPS, which produced the Steele dossier, re: accusations it was hired by Russians:— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) 27 July 2017"What is clear is that the president and his allies are desperately trying to smear Fusion GPS..."So these thugs are the victims now, aren't they?How curious, isn't it, that Fusion GPS would basically resort to the same strategy (victimhood) of its utterly corrupt Venezuelan client (Derwick Associates) when their inexcusable business practises come to light?When I started reporting about Derwick Associates' corruption nearly five years ago, Donald Trump was a mere American citizen spewing bile about Barack Obama, and Derwick was a totally obscure and unknown shell company.Between 2012 and Trump's election in 2016, I wrote a great deal about Derwick. In August 2014, I exposed Fusion GPS connections to Derwick. Fusion GPS' involvement with the worst scum of chavista Venezuela happened exactly along the lines of their involvement with the Trump dossier. In their words "it is a matter of public record that Fusion GPS worked for and under the supervision of an American law firm providing support for civil litigation in New York."Indeed, Fusion GPS' founder Peter Fritsch flew to Caracas in July 2014 with Adam Kaufmann, former New York's District Attorney Chief Prosecutor, also in Derwick's employ. The civil litigation Fusion GPS and Kaufmann were involved in was a lawsuit against Derwick initiated by Otto Reich, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Derwick, lawyered up to their eyeballs, managed to have the case thrown out for lack of jurisdiction, despite having subcontracted all the work to an American company, despite having used American stream of commerce, banks and currency to carry out their corrupt enterprise, despite having used American courts to falsely prosecute perceived critics, and despite having assets worth millions of dollars in America.Derwick, and its American employees "pulled out all the stops, including... false allegation[s]" to derail Reich's RICO case against Derwick.The false allegations fabricated by Derwick / Fusion GPS had nothing to do with Russia, or Trump. It was about me. It was about my family. Given that most of the stuff posted in the public domain about their corruption was done by me, it was about their belief that I was instrumental in "bringing disrepute" to their otherwise very kosher company. It was about their sheer conviction, that I was a "hired pen", in the employ of a Venezuelan banker, to tarnish their "hard earned" reputation.Derwick / Fusion GPS' strategy was to completely destroy my credibility. Derwick / Fusion GPS tried to do so by producing fake warrants, in which I was accused of committing a crime that's not even part of Venezuela's Penal Code ("Tráfico de Estufepacientes"). So inept, not even the spelling was right.Derwick / Fusion GPS then resurrected my mother: having died of cancer, in 1983, in a Basque town, she was placed "in charge" of a drug trafficking ring in 2006 with operations in Venezuela, the USA and Spain. Fake ID numbers, migration logs and pictures were posted online linking me to my mother's alleged cartel.Derwick / Fusion GPS "accused" me of being a homosexual, irresponsibly spreading AIDS in Caracas.Derwick / Fusion GPS then invented that I was a partner of a Colombian narco terrorist organization (FARC). One of FARC top commanders even "complained" about me, for an alleged theft of some "500 kilos of cocaine".Allegedly I am also a "car thief" and an "extortionist".My sister's Spanish passport details were posted online during this smearing campaign. My sister's "love affair with Hugo Chavez" was "exposed" on one of the websites.I was "accused" of being a pedophile. A fake Spanish Police report was posted online as "evidence". My father's second wife was also accused of being a pedophile.Derwick / Fusion GPS creativity did not stop there: as part of my alleged "drug trafficking operatio[...]