Luis Díaz Jr. (age 74) and his son, also named Luis Díaz (49), were arrested in Miami yesterday. Díaz and Díaz, who ran the ever-so-legit-looking Miami Equipment & Export Company, will face an indictment by crusading U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on charges of laundering nearly $100 million on behalf of Venezuelan construction companies and regime officials.
What’s that you say? You have no idea who Luis Díaz is? Neither do we!
De pana, we have no clue what this is about, and since the indictments don’t name the counterparts in Venezuela (either public or private) we have no quick way to find out.
How many guys are out there guisando in the $10-100 million range, being smart about it, that you and I will never hear about?
But that’s almost expected…to get noticed as a corrupt operator in Venezuela, you have to be either exceptionally crass, exceptionally flashy, or deal with exceptionally large amounts of money. If you’re reasonably smart, reasonably discrete and you’re dealing with corruption in the (by Venezuelan standards) modest tens-of-millions of dollars range, it’s insanely easy to go unnoticed…by the press, if not by Preet Bharara.
The real question for me is, how many Luis Díaz’s are there out there? How many guys are out there guisando in the $10-100 million range, being smart about it, and going unnoticed? Dozens? Hundreds? How many?
In a way, I almost feel for the bolichicos. Through sheer stupidity/love-of-publicity, they’ve ended up soaking up all the freefloating anger out there: the share owed them, yes, but also all the extra free-floating pissed-offedness we share at the unidentifiable, invisible Luis Diazes out there. It really isn’t fair.