#Derwick’s Betancourt launders more money in Spain’s @hawkersco

How exciting, it must be, for four kids out of Elche to have “raised” €50 million in a matter of days to fund their business’ expansion. They are going to “take on the Ray-Bans of the world”, imagine that. Admirable, as their enterprise is, I happen to think that sooner, rather than later, their association with Alejandro Betancourt of Derwick Asssociates, is going to come back to bite them:

Le géant pétrolier vénézuélien fait actuellement l’objet d’une autre procédure outre-Atlantique. Qui mène aussi en Suisse. Le redoutable procureur Preet Bharara — qui a déjà sanctionné plusieurs banques helvétiques dans le passé — s’intéresse de très près au groupe industriel vénézuélien Derwick Associates, aussi soupçonné de corruption chez PDVSA, suite à l’obtention de juteux contrats en un temps record. L’entreprise de Caracas est spécialisée dans la construction de centrales électriques, le gaz naturel et les équipements liés à ces industries lourdes.
A Berne, on confirme que le magistrat new-yorkais avait envoyé, dès juin 2015, une demande de renseignements au sujet de dix-huit banques suisses auprès de l’OFJ dans le cadre de cette affaire. Le mois dernier, l’agence Bloomberg indiquait que UBS et EFG figuraient parmi ces dernières. Aucun des deux établissements n’a souhaité commenter. De son côté, l’OFJ précise qu’il examine actuellement les documents collectés, avant d’éventuellement les transmettre outre-Atlantique.

There was no need, was there? The enterprising Spanish sunglass-makers could have raised needed capital pretty much anywhere. Why give away 20% equity to corrupt Venezuelan thugs under federal investigation in the USA and Switzerland? What possible returns an association with a group likely to be indicted will bring?

Not much can be expected from Spanish media: that much is certain. In a feat of pseudo journalism -and despite abundant coverage of Derwick Associates’ corruption just one Google search away- no Spanish hack, nor indeed Hawkers and co, deemed necessary to ask: “Mr Betancourt, how did you make the €50 million your group is investing in Hawkers?”

It is no secret that Derwick Associates got all of its Venezuelan contracts through bribe payment and corruption. In fact, they admitted it. It is no secret that Derwick Associates is at the center of an international criminal investigation led by New York’s prosecutor Preet Bharara. I would like to challenge Spanish reporters and commentators (those capable of reading English that is), to produce one valid piece of evidence supporting Derwick’s claim that no American court has found against their corruption in Venezuela.

The state of the media in Spain is as lamentable as its political situation. It seems to extend also to Spain’s innovative 2.0 industries.