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.

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  1. 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.

    In addition: as the food is purchased in bulk, most likely the food is priced at wholesale or at least at a discount from full retail. The scam increases.
    Excellent posts today, Quico.

    Samark López: doing well by doing good. 🙂

  2. In the United Kingdom there are many sexually transmitted diseases. These are referred to as the CLAP.
    Venezuela is now infected.

  3. What makes this more obscene is that this scam, where enchufados enrich themselves at the expense of all Venezuela, involves food at a time when many Venezuelans are going hungry.
    Have they no shame? No, they have no shame. Sinvergüenzas, every last one.

  4. According to an article in El Nacional dated March 31, 2017, the clap boxes are sold for BsF 15,000. The exchane rates that the government handles are 10 and 2200 (previously 1000?) BsF/US$. Using the already super inflated price of $42, and if the higher rate is used, the price to the Venezuelan people in BsF should be 92,400 (or 42,000 under the older exchange rate). Obviously, that’s not it; which makes sense because food imports are supposed to be made at the BsF 10/US$. But at this rate the price of the clap box/bag should then be BsF420. So I guess after all the chanchullos to bring the claps to Venezuela, there’s still room for even more chanchullos to distribute it locally. Samark sells them at 3.4 times its cost, the locals sell it at 35.7 times its cost. No wonder none of these people want to give up their places in the government.

    • Found it for you: sounds nice. Sounds a bit like Oye Como Va in places. Who cares.

      Great article. This news should very definitely make the rounds and grow legs, especialmente entre los busca-basura. A lot of Chavistas might get their bubble burst. It really is totally outrageous.

      Anyone in GB. copy and paste it to Reuters by mail. They’ve been following V.

  5. Now those ARE crimes against mankind and humanity. While there might have been issued about getting the Haigue involved, these last charges, if proven so, are plenty to at least issue a warrant for investigation, and that comes with a red notice issued from Interpol, which doesn’t mean extradition, but it does mean those under investigation cannot leave the country (expect to dives like Cuba and Ecuador) lest they get arrested. Maybe the noose will tighten a little more. The thinking with the Rebolution has always been that they are immune to prosecution per crimes they commit against their own people. Profiting off a starving population has changed all that.

  6. Hopefully this CLAP scam can be made a big issue and not just swept under the rug. What better way to dominate the news cycle than to keep these scandals at the forefront. It is not just about controlling the streets, it is also about controlling the narrative. This Clap scam has wheels and is something that infuriates every Venezeulan, but…

    This regime must collapse under their own weight. Hopefully LOD is ready to do daily press conferences announcing more and more charges against the Chavista Enchufados. That is one way to dominate the narrative and put the Maduristas persistantly on the defensive.

    Keep in mind, Los Sobrinos de Maduro go on trial on July 27th en el Imperio.

    Got to keep the pressure up. These rats are about to drown. Pray that an inundation of scandals at the right moment will do these guys in. Now is the time.

  7. Wonder what percentage of the population actually survives solely on CLAP boxes? And what percentage of the average CLAP box is made up of Venezuelan products?

    Run those numbers and you get a pretty good idea of the failure of this regime at every level.

  8. It might be possible to justify double the price by the time it ends up in someone’s home. But nearly 5x is completely unacceptable.

    Pigs get fat… hogs get slaughtered

  9. Another question:

    What kind of total boxes are supposedly purchased in any timeframe?

    We’re talking a population of 30 million, so how many CLAPs do they say are purchased and distributed in any given month?

    This, of course, not even taking into account the pitifully inadequate and inconsistent contents of the boxes.

  10. I think is time to make another chart like for the Japanese article. Making sure what is actually in the boxes, why that can’t be produced in Venezuela, the cost of producing it “antes De la quemazon”, the regular importing cost, and how much money is lost in the transporting.

  11. This is the stuff that needs to be communicated loud and clear, over and over and over, in simple terms to the barrios.

    Clear, simple, one page fliers would be start.

    The ‘proletariat’ generally don’t care about rule of law or separation of powers, or even ‘libertad’, but they all get pissed about going hungry while these bigwigs get massively rich off the food they deliver.

  12. So this is why the Venezuelan government is refusing to accept food donations from other countries and NGOs. It would slow the CLAP profits for a few top Chavistas!

  13. When I showed a mexican friend a photo of the contents of one of these “mexican boxes”, she told me two things:

    1) That all that food didn’t went past 25$ there in Mexico, so it’s dirty cheap.

    2) That all that food was so cheap because those are brands that are considered among the worst there in Mexico.

  14. Financial Times on the CLAP: Venezuela’s food parcels prove imperfect solution to crisis
    Subsidised scheme marred by claims of profiteering is draining state funds….

    Yet with such a huge difference between the market price for the goods and the price paid — and an even bigger gap between the official and the black-market dollar exchange rates in Venezuela — the potential for arbitrage, profiteering and corruption in the state-run programme is high….

    According to Fedeagro, an agricultural association, Venezuela produces only enough food to cover between 30-40 per cent of domestic consumption, compared with about 70 per cent a decade ago.. Chronic food shortages ensure that Venezuelans regularly skip meals and go hungry. A survey from the Universidad Central de Venezuela found that three-quarters of the Opec nation’s population lost weight involuntarily in 2016…
    Some say they have been charged more than the official price of Bs10,000 for a box, with recipients also complaining of being asked for an additional “tip” for delivery. With the Clap committees who run the scheme closely tied to Mr Maduro’s Socialist government, others claim they have been denied boxes on ideological grounds — a charge the government has denied.

    Regarding CLAP as food apartheid, the WaPo has an appropriate quote in How ‘food apartheid’ is punishing some Venezuelans.
    Instead, critics say the system has devolved into a kind of “food apartheid” meant to punish those who oppose Maduro.

    “I was told very clearly and straight to my face: We won’t sell you the bag of food, this benefit is reserved only for chavistas,” said Carmen Villegas, who lives in the rough Caracas neighborhood of Catia.

    CLAP- what a name.

    • CLAP, nice name, same as PUS (first name they came up with when the PSUV was being established).
      Since they have never done anything remotely profitable on their own efforts in their miserable lives, what can be expected? Somebody had to tell them that the acronyms won’t work from a marketing standpoint. That did happen with PUS (connotation way too obvious), but with CLAP….. Well, to make them understand… it would be explaining rocket science to these people.
      How to explain the magnitude of Venezuela’s human toll to somebody that has never heard about Venezuela?: Imagine 2 full of passengers 747 jumbo aircraft crashing every month for the past 18 years. All passengers dead. For how long is this going to be allowed ?
      If there is an “up” from a potential invasion to remove the criminal, regime, it would be, as in the case of the US invasion to Panama, to rid Venezuela of the military plague, parasites that have always demanded extortion money and privileges and never proven their worth.
      Much rather have a strong police and send back all the crappy tanks, missiles, MIGs, helicopters that keep crashing, frigates that keep running aground and submarines purchased to Russia. Worthless & cant’ pay for them!. Make the “military” earn their keep actually protecting the People, and Fuerte Tiuna a really large park of the west.
      A side benefit: To see Maduro, Godgiven Hair, Tibisay, the Rodriguezes and Narcogenerals combo behind bars: Priceless!

  15. It would be great to revamp this post, adding the benefits of importing @ 10Bs/$, to sell at 20.000Bs ($2000), and the involvement of Nicolás in the Mexican company, declared by Luisa Ortega Días today…

    It all makes me sick.


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