CLAPs Food Distribution Turns Out to be a Giant Scam

National Assembly member Carlos Paparoni lays out the scam surrounding CLAPs food imports from Mexico in specific, galling detail.

In an explosive press conference from the National Assembly today, lawmaker Carlos Papaproni lays bare the complicated chanchullo behind Samark López’s involvement in the CLAPs subsidized food distribution scheme. Samark is, lest we forget, named as a frontman to vice-president Tareck El Aissami in U.S. Treasury Department sanctions.

Here is the nitty-gritty on how he profits from Venezuelans’ hunger on the side:

According to Paparoni, López overcharges for CLAPs deliveries of Mexican products at every step of the way. In Mexico, the retail cost of the 15.5 kg. worth of products of a Mexican CLAPs Box is about $11 — but PostarIntertrade, Samark’s company, reports it pays $18.30 for the products. Regular shipping of a 15.5 kg. box from Veracruz to Puerto Cabello would cost $1.40 — PostarIntertrade says it costs at $3.81. There’s overbilling in insurance, too. Altogether, buying, shipping and insuring a CLAPs box, in other words, should cost $12.44. PostarIntertrade says the same thing costs it $22.22.

But that’s just the start: Postar then turns around and bills the Venezuelan taxpayer $42 for the same box. A cool $30 over the odds. Multiply that by the 7 million box Samark has sold Corporación CASA and you get a sense of the scale of the scam.

The scandal implicates a veritable who’s who of regime hierarchs: Vice-president Tareck El Aissami, Freddy Bernal, General Marco Torres, Yenny González Naranjo (of Corporación CASA), José David Cabello of SENIAT (brother of He who must not be named) and General Efraín Velasco Lugo, head of Bolipuertos.

Luisa Ortega Díaz has now received a full dossier into the scandal from Paparoni. If she hadn’t been driven insane by everything that’s been going on these last few seeks, chances are she will be as she looks through the details of this.