Photo: France 24

Hidden Money Is Revealed by ‘Suisse Secrets’

Among other news, Swiss bank Credit Suisse accepted to open and keep accounts of Venezuelan clients accused of ransacking PDVSA for hundreds of millions of dollars

  • Swiss bank Credit Suisse accepted to open and keep accounts of Venezuelan clients accused of ransacking PDVSA for hundreds of millions of dollars, according to an investigation published on Sunday. “ The investigation called ‘Suisse Secrets’ was led by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), with 163 journalists from 48 media outlets. The accounts held over 100,000 million dollars. The piece revealed that Credit Suisse kept Venezuelans’ accounts opened even when their implication in cases of corruption was exposed by the media. Former employees of the bank said that when it came to high sums of money, the bank executives encouraged “looking the other way.”
  • Former Oil minister Nervis Villalobos and former PDVSA president Rafael Ramírez are involved. On the same day that Villalobos opened his account, so did Luis Carlos de León Pérez, former CFO of Electricidad de Caracas. He had over 24.5 million dollars. They found 16 more accounts where there were at least 175 million dollars tied to PDVSA’s bribery scheme. They found other people tied to other corruption schemes who had stolen around 2,000 million from PDVSA. Transparencia Venezuela made a list of the “beneficiaries.” Credit Suisse assured that 90% of the accounts had already been shut down or were in the process of being closed when they were informed of the investigation. 
  • Diosdado Cabello said the accusations of having Russian military officers in Apure were “inventions”. He said we have Russian and Chinese equipment, which used to be bought from the U.S. “we don’t have to ask anyone for permission for military agreements.” He assured the Colombian government lacks the morals to talk about Venezuela because “the U.S. leads the Colombian Armed Forces.” 
  • The president of the chavista faction of Acción Democrática, Bernabé Gutiérrez, announced they’ll hold internal elections and suggested militants to renew their membership. He denied there’s going to be any negotiation with the legitimate AD. 
  • The Armed Forces announced on social media they’re still deactivating thousands of explosives on the border with Colombia. 
  • Rafael Neazoa, one of the Policías Metropolitanos accused after the events of April 11th, 2002, died yesterday. He was cleared of all charges after his trial, in a case where the State used all forms of cruelty and ruthlessness. 
  • Former prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz was bold enough to say there isn’t enough “serious and verifiable” evidence against her for crimes she could have committed during her tenure. 
  • Msr. Jesús González de Zárate, thinks the situation in the country is serious and dramatic and assured that the migration evidences the complex humanitarian emergency. 
  • A Venezuelan family with an eight-year-old with Down Syndrome and a one-year-old baby assured they were mistreated by Chilean immigration officers when they were arrested trying to cross the border. 
  • Chilean authorities evicted ten Venezuelan families from an illegal camp in Santiago de Chile.
  • Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT) announced they’re starting a process to renew their authorities and re-legitimize their leadership in the country. 
  • In January, Venezuelan families needed 2,155 bolivars ($448) to cover the basic food basket, said CENDAS. They’d need 308 minimum wages to pay it. The increase, even in dollars, has taken people who were surviving with remittances of between 80 and 150 dollars per month back to poverty. 

  • “7 bolivars” was a trending topic on social media yesterday, the amount the State deposited in retirees’ accounts. Hait increased the minimum wage to $6.85 per day, meaning, one of the least developed and poorest countries in the world raised their daily minimum wage and it’s now five times more than what chavismo pays our senior citizens per month. 
  • Russia escalated the conflict and committed one more violation of Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty. While Ukraine denounced that there were no signs of the 150,000 Russian troops retreating, Putin announced he’s recognizing the “independence of Donetsk and Lugansk.” “Allowing countries to leave the USSR was a mistake,” said Putin and accused the Ukrainian government of planning to develop nuclear weapons. He signed the decrees of “independence” one hour later. The decrees contemplate the deployment of the Russian Armed Forces and he announced a military operation, as he did in 2014 in Crimea. The European Council and the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs warned that they’ll respond firmly to this blatant violation of international law and the Minsk Agreements. The U.S. warned they’ll block investment and commerce in Donetsk and Lugansk, while NATO condemned Russia’s decision and warned that it erodes the efforts to solve the conflict. Syria already recognized the newly independent nations and Nicolás might do so soon. 
  • Colombian President Iván Duque considers congresswoman Aída Merlano, who fled to Venezuela, is being used to force him to re-establish diplomatic relations with the regime. He suggested Merlano should “hand herself into the authorities and say what she needs to say.” 

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.