Roberto Rincón, the enchufado of Tradequip and Ovarb Industrial fame, is spending tonight in a Houston-area federal jail cell awaiting arrainment on money laundering charges.

Though a Maracucho and, therefore, not strictly speaking a bolichico, Rincón was allegedly involved in a remarkably similar kind of chanchullo: using the emergency decree following the Electric Crisis some years ago to sell power generation equipment to Bariven, PDVSA’s procurement arm, with eye-popping surcharges.

Among other fun details, Rincón was the owner of the private plane that flew al Pollo Carvajal to Aruba in 2014. 

El Pitazo reports that Rincón was in the process of resettling in Spain, and that the U.S. investigation that just netted him had started all the way back in 2011. There’s tons more detail about him on César Batiz’s Twitter feed. (César, who has been on Rincón’s trail for years, is at serious risk of Dulce de Guayaba overdose tonight.)

Hey, look on the bright side: he won’t have to walk as far to the nearest bathroom as in his old house. 

Cotufas y más cotufas, mi gente…

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    • As the term is usually used, “Bolichicos” refers to a specific clique of regime-connected caraqueño enchufados. Rincón isn’t part of that clique, but he got unfathomably rich doing the same kind of thing.

  1. It seems that an “open season” has been declared on corrupt Venezuelans. Could it be because the confiscated funds might allow Venezuela to avoid starvation in 2016?

  2. Dang. It was a good ride, this whole thing is very movie worthy. The fortunes made are galactic, and the falls will be as tragic as they were inevitable. What an explotion, chavismo was!

    Sometimes, I feel like ol’ P Escobar se queda pendejo.

  3. “Rincón was in the process of resettling in Spain”

    i will never get why those Latin American corrupts ALWAYS choose Europe and the US, which are are known as the most civilized countries in the world, to go. Choose Russia, choose China, hell, choose f… India! But moving from Texas to Madrid??? What difference would make? Out of the frying pan into the fire. Of course it would end up badly.

    If that advice above were understood, their rate of incarceration would drop sharply… But no, they have this obsession with Europe and the US. *Sigh*

    Keep being arrested!

  4. US authorities are clearly targeting people who are not only corrupt but who can fingerpoint people inside the regime who have participated in their deals , this should come as no surprise to us , lets remember that when US congress issued its sanctions against a number of Venezuelan officials accused of human right violations and passed their resolution to the US executive branch the latter ammended the received text expanding it so the number of crimes to be prosecuted under the order included also drugtrafficking , money laundering and other violations. They are evidently preparing a number of indictments or cases against a whole group of regime officials and their collaborators , with an end purpose that is not difficult to guess . They are preparing a case to criminalize key members of the clique that currently rules Venezuela , perhaps to present it before different different international forums who can then take direct measures agaisnt the regime itself as the protector or sponsor of a host of criminal organizations……… !!

    The regime is aware of this , the efforts it took to prevent Carvajal from being deported from Aruba were drastically desperate in their scope , full of blatantly extortionate and gansterish threats such as no minimally decent government would ever consider which is a sign of their panic at the threat that now looms over them .This is not the final Chapter , we will see many more like measures before this is over!!

    • Here’s my theory: when el Pollo Carvajal was in custody in Aruba, he won his release by providing detailed documentary evidence about Rincon to the DEA. In exchange, they let him go.

      Pass it on.

      • JH, I am skeptical about that. The Pollo Aruba operation was a goatfuck in that the chicken got away but valuable intel was gleamed. The chicken is a higher value target than Rincon. The chicken is a terrorist, doper and killer. Rincon is a launderer with blood on his hands.

          • Yes, All of the above. Rincon obviously the easiest target because of his U.S. connections. Rincon’s attorney failed to protect him. Maybe he did not know but c’mon…. Rincon set himself up for easy catch because he was delusional and grandiose.

  5. First, noticing that HOUSE of Rincon, I hadn’t realized that car washes were that valuable in the Houston area. Second, whatever happened to Sara Curphy? Third, it’s pretty obvious that the Feds are going after Rafael Ramirez. I’ll be he didn’t sleep well last night.

  6. A few days ago, there was another bust that was much lower profile, but of interest to me, because I personally know one of the persons involved, Samantha Hazell:

    Winston Vallenilla was and is clearly “bien enchufado” with the Chavistas, but this particular story seems to be implicating him in drug trafficking and “terrorism” based upon nothing more than guilt by association. His sister, Samantha Hazell, whom I have known for at least seven years never seemed to be involved in any of the Chavista shenangins. When she lived on Margarita Island, where I knew her, she lived quite modestly, in a small rented apartment, hardly the life style of her brother. In fact, I knew her to have strong Oppositionist political opinions.

    I met her husband, Jeroen van den Elshout, once or twice, in passing. He struck me as a hapless tourist, who just happened to meet a pretty Venezuelan woman and fall in love. He did not strike me as “a player”. For the last three years, he and Samantha have been living in Holland. Based on the Facebook posts, they have been living a perfectly ordinary middle-class life.

    Now, I don’t know Samantha Hazell extremely well, but there is something about this whole story that just doesn’t square with what I know about her. I am wondering if, in going after the Chavista drug traffickers and money launderers, the various authorities are not casting their nets a little too wide and assuming associations that don’t exist. Let us hope that this does not become a which-hunt and that prosecutions remain based on actual evidence.

    • Well it doesn’t look like the drugs were planted on him, and that he made a conscious decision to smuggle them.

      As to whether or not he is a “narco-terrorist”, I guess I would give him the benefit of the doubt since you have, in a sense, vouched for him.

      Maybe the truth will out later, when the criminal case against him proceeds to its conclusion.

      Right now though, the best prediction is for a lousy Christmas for them

  7. Rincon’s mansion in Quico’s picture has a value of $10 million for tax purposes. He is the fifth most important real state taxpayer in Montgomery County, Texas. He spent about $5 million in the wedding of his son in Ecuador.
    Why not? He can make millions in one day, under the umbrella of PDVSA.
    It is difficult not to feel indignant about this miserable man, don’t you think? Venezuelan justice did not touch him. It had to be the U.S. justice.

  8. If you are a normal honest person seeking to settle in North America there is seemingly no end to the hoops and waiting and microscopic scrutiny you have to go through, but if you are a really rich hanger on of a corrupt regime with no skills but criminality and shopping, it does not seem to be a problem for the authorities.

    • Glad to see someone getting constructive lessons here. I hear that if you need to deal with Citizenship & Immigrations Canada or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, you just tell them you’re a corrupt billionaire and you can get your green card at once. Let us know how that goes, ok?

      • If what you think I am suggesting is an absurd level of vigilance, then you have never had to tender proof of your true spousal love to a federal agency in support of a residence application. I mean, if they can detect love that is not true, surely they can find a source of a billion dollars from a third world country that is not true….

        • No no…I have been dealing with both of those agencies in the past few years. And I often find myself opening my Rincón file and thinking, “Now, there’s a guy who knows how to file these applications right.”

        • When you are stupid rich, you can hire the best attorneys to file these for you.

          Many times these attorneys have connections that they can exploit to get speedier processing, or can make narratives fit to enable that speedier processing.

          Nothing is more frustrating than having to look an immigration official in the eye and have to “prove” your love is real.

  9. Gotta give it to Rincon por bolllllas. Instead of gouging the goverment for say ten million for a 112 million load of turbinos, he goes for a 140 million dollar mark-up, cashing out with a cool 252 million. the new assembly can’t get distracted by trying to snag every kickback artist over the last seventeen years, but make the US will do it for them – till they get someone to sing the whole crazy opera. As Bill mentioned, this is probably just the start of it.

  10. When are the others going to be arrested. There’s a whole network of money laundering scum. Are they taking down their associates and partners in this too?


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