The Aban Pearl Stew

Remember the sinking of the Aban Pearl exploration rig off the coast of Sucre State back in April 2010?

Turns out there was a massive corruption guiso behind it: PDVSA was paying $730,000 a day to rent a rig that normally costs $358,000 per day.

Take it away, Coronel,

Aban Pearl was contracted by PDVSA to an intermediary company, not to its owner. This is, in the best of cases, inefficient and a potential cause of corruption. Second, that the barge was contracted to the intermediary company by an amount of money that seems to be twice as large as that paid to the owner, suggesting that a considerable amount of money remained in the pockets of this intermediary company. Three, that the intermediary company formed in Singapore and owned by a Panamanian registered company was incorporated solely for the purposes of this transaction and received the contract from PDVSA without bidding. Four,  that the Panamanian company owning the Singapore intermediary company has a capital of only $10,000, totally insufficient to be responsible for a $1.3 Billion contract. Five, that the owners of the company contracting with PDVSA were established contractors of PDVSA in Venezuela.