28 July 2020

Will Rafael Ramirez escape Banca Privada D'Andorra's money laundering evidence?

Got a phone call the other day from Ricard Poy, a very good source in all things Andorra, to tell me that his book, "Las Siete Plagas de BPA", was published. This is great news, as I have known the fierce opposition there's been for Ricard's book, not least from constraints imposed by his former employer (Diari d'Andorra), and from the Cierco brothers (money launderers that owned Banca Privada d'Andorra - BPA). The book, which I find tremendously enjoying, is a chronicle based on the criminal probe about the money laundering scheme set up by the Ciercos at BPA, to service Diego Salazar, Nervis Villalobos, Javier Alvarado, Eudomario Carruyo, Carmelo Urdaneta Aqui, Rocio Maneiro, et al in looting PDVSA out of billions with the ever ready approval and assistance of Rafael Ramirez.

The trouble for Ramirez is that the book, and criminal case file that underpins it, are now in the public domain. This site will make sure that it is seen far and wide and gets the attention needed, above all by those who are already conducting criminal probes into PDVSA's multi billion dollar money laundering schemes in different jurisdictions.

If that were the only case of Ramirez's malfeasance, perhaps he would get out if it scot-free. But Ramirez is far too deep. Having been both Minister of Energy and PDVSA's CEO for over a decade makes his preposterous innocence cries impossible to sustain, and BPA proves it. Andorra's case has another peculiarity: the corrupt deals that were part of the Venezuela - China bilateral agreement ($20+ billion) were structured by Diego Salazar (Ramirez's first cousin), and went through BPA. Plenty of unseen evidence, such as contracts whereby Chinese cos undertake to pay Salazar's shells 10% commission of contract amount purely for getting his cousin Rafael to approve them, will now become part of Ramirez's CV. Salazar got hundreds of millions, and part of that went to the man green lighting everything: Rafael Ramirez.

Ramirez is also the core of criminal probes related to Banco Espirito Santo, the $4.5 billion laundered through EFG and Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique, Odebrecht in Venezuela, Derwick Associates, Helsinge... We are persistently told he cut some kind of deal with American Justice, but his golden days "hiding" in Rome could soon come to an end.

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