Derwick Associates

In this page I will be linking to posts, other material and translations relevant to a crowd-source, investigative project about Derwick Associates. Ultimas Noticias journalist Cesar Batiz in Caracas is collaborating.

Derwick Associates: Exhibit X of Venezuela's Corrupt Criminals

London 03/10/2012 | There was a time, when Venezuelan thugs caught in the act used to recourse to a form of intimidation that had no legs to stand on: paid advertisement in regime-aligned media. I remember with particular fondness, how a couple of such small time crooks from one 'North American Opinion Research' pollster, Julio Makarem and Ricardo Valbuena, decided that the best way of dealing with publication of their dubious track record was to appeal to Hugo Chavez and his regime's authorities to open an investigation about me and other bloggers, who had either contributed to investigations about their dodgy affairs or had echoed our findings. Needless to say that, most unfortunately for Makarem and Valbuena, no investigation was launched and their reputations were laid to waste forevermore. Read More >>

Derwick Associates & FTI Consulting [updated]

London 16.10.2012 - Today, at 6:30 pm, I received a very odd phone call. A lady with a very thick American accent called to ask if she could talk to the director of Just Good Wine (an online wine retailer that I run), for she was interested in buying wine and champagne. I said I was the director, and she started with this bullshit story about a leaflet from Just Good Wine that she got sometime in a visit to the UK, and she wanted to know whether I could send her some wine over to the US. That put me on guard. After hearing that I could upon receiving from her an indication of how much wine she would be purchasing, she said she would be interested in buying a couple of bottles. As the conversation went on, I realised the play and decided to go with it, rather than hanging up. I asked her where she had gotten my number from, she said from LinkedIn. She asked if we sold African wines, and then asked if I had a store, or an office, where she could go to, or send me some mail. Read More >>

Derwick Associates & ProEnergy Services

London 16.10.2012 - Further to my two previous posts about Derwick Associates (see here, and here) I sent my last to a few sources in Venezuela, one of which pointed me in a rather interesting direction. It would appear that after all FTI Consulting is going to make a killing with Derwick Associates, if indeed they are involved. Read More >>

Hugo Chavez using proxies to prosecute critics in US Courts

London 19.11.2011 - Imagine a rock solid, private bank, led by a reputed and prudent banker. While much of our world is yet to come out of a financial crisis caused by irresponsible bankers, who were ultimately bailed out at huge cost to taxpayers, there's this guy in Venezuela, trying to avoid a government-led raid on his bank's funds. His name is Oscar Garcia Mendoza, the bank he directs Banco Venezolano de Crédito (BVC), and the assault he's trying to fend unprecedented. Since 2011, Venezuela's Central Bank has been lowering reserves requirement (or liquidity ratio). The aim is to free cash held with the Central Bank, so that private banks can in turn purchase government bonds issued to fund housing projects (Misión Vivienda). In four separate issues since 2011, the Chavez regime has raised in excess of $9 billion from Venezuela's private banks. So far, so capitalist, right? Not quite, financial institutions that refuse to risk it with Chavez bonds are effectively penalised by an unexplainable increase in liquidity ratio. Read More >>

Derwick’s Digital Strategy: Keeping Up Appearances on Park Avenue

London 21.11.2012 - Derwick's little adventure gets more interesting the deeper I dig. What we have here is a Venezuelan company accused of corruption in Ultimas Noticias, and in other published Venezuelan media such as El UniversalEl Mundo,AnaliticaReporte, Sexto Poder and numerous blogs. Yet they haven't touched any major publications. Why are the Derwick gang not suing Batiz and Ultimas Noticias? Batiz actually won an award for his reporting on Derwick's fraud. Perhaps Derwick realizes that the owner, Miguel Angel Capriles, is a very powerful and untouchable Chavez ally, going against him would probably cause Derwick's dissolution in an internecine chavista legal war they just can't win. Read More >>

Is the Bank of Spain laundering Derwick Associates' money?

London 26.11.2012 - The "unacceptable face of capitalism", otherwise reported as involvement of some of the world's "most reputed" private financial institutions in money laundering, and aiding and abetting with terrorists, is shocking enough. But what if I were to give an example where boardroom greed is not part of the equation? What if I were to show that a Central Bank, of one European country, neglected its anti-money-laundering responsibilities, by clearing ill-gotten proceeds from extremely dubious characters starring in corruption rackets? What if I were to show that judicial authorities have disregarded anti-money-laundering legislation? Hard to believe? Think again. Read More >>

Whatever happened to CVG's $500-million held in Gazprombank?

London 01.12.12 - The image on the right is the first page, of what sources alleged to be a two-page fax, sent by Alejandro Betancourt to buyers of steelmaker Corporación Venezolana de Guayana (CVG). Its contents are quite self explanatory:  date (Sep 04 09), time (06:36pm), name of sender (Alejandro Betancourt), fax number from where it was sent (58-212-9777399), and instructions to buyers to pay / transfer into a Gazprombank  account.

El Universal journalist, Joseph Poliszuk, reported on both the fax and a request for a penal investigation filed with Bolivar state Attorney's Office, questioning former head of CVG Rodolfo Sanz's propriety in dealing with millions of public funds. Venezuela's Attorney General's Office admitted the request, and appointed Public Prosecutor Pedro Buitrago to investigate the issue. Journalist Cesar Batiz, from Ultimas Noticias, went further, and was able to establish in his expose about Derwick Associates... Read More >>

Diaz Ferran detenido por blanqueo de dinero. ¿Y qué de Derwick?

Londres 05.12.12 - Reporta El País de España sobre la detención de Gerardo Diaz Ferrán por blanqueo de dinero. Curioso, no? Gerardo Diaz Ferrán. Viajes Marsans. Derwick Associates. Los dos primeros temas han llenado, y continúan llenando, laspaginas de actualidad de los diarios mas importantes de España. Una estafa de millones de euros, desaparecidos, o despilfarrados, en aventuras de un megalómano irresponsable. Miles de trabajadores a quienes no se les podrá pagar lo adeudado. Luego el tercer tema, Derwick Associates. Aunque desconocido en España, presente en las paginas de los mas importantes medios de Venezuela, la tierra del caudillo Hugo Chavez. Cientos de millones de dolares, producto de sobreprecios en la venta al estado de plantas generadoras de electricidad, igualmente desaparecidos. ¿Cómo se relacionan estos tres temas? Pasemos al despilfarro. Leer más >>

FBI looking at Derwick Associates

London 09.12.2012 - Ultimas Noticias, Venezuela's most-read newspaper let's not forget, published today another article about Derwick Associates by Cesar Batiz, loosely translated as "FBI looking at Venezuelan company". Batiz is the investigative reporter who was recently recognised  for his series of articles exposing overpricing -in the hundreds of millions of dollars- by three companies that had been contracted by the Venezuelan State to solve the power crisis. One of those three companies is Derwick Associates. Read More >>

Derwick Associates y su "comunicado" en El Nacional

Londres 20.12.2012 - Hace algunos años los idiotas de North American Opinion Research estimaron propicio publicar una "participación publica" en Últimas Noticias. En aquella ocasion, fui acusado, entre otra cosas, de vilipendiar a Hugo Chavez, Diosdado Cabello y Nicolás Maduro, y de difamar a banqueros y cooperativistas, de esos que le echan burda de bola y se hacen multi-billonarios en pocos años. Leer más >>

How not to counter criticism: the Derwick Associates case

LONDON —. It has become standard in the Western world to expect to find information about everyone and everything via the internet. Individuals and corporations alike consult search engines to form an impression of potential friends, hires, business partners, or supported candidates. Prominent negative information t can cost jobs, deals, marriages, and lawsuits. Some persons and firms invest in expensive online reputation management campaigns, as partial recognition of this fact. Read More >>

Hugo Chavez’s corrupt cronies find GOP friends

A prominent Washington conservative’s law firm is representing a shady Venezuelan company that has close ties to the Chavez regime, meanwhile top conservative news sites self-censor this article. Read More>>

Censorship: Derwick Associates Style

London - After regrettable decisions by PJ Media and the Daily Caller to self-censor my findings on Derwick Associates having retained ACU Chairman Al Cardenas's law firm as legal counsel, I thought fitting to leave a record here of threat letters sent by Hector Torres, on behalf of Derwick Associates, to bloggers and journalists. For some reason, Torres's Venezuelan clients think that they are above and beyond legitimate criticism, they think they can pocket millions of dollars of public money and no one, nowhere has the right to question their actions. Think again... Read More>>

What do Derwick Associates and Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco have in common? Al Cardenas and FTI Consulting

London | According to reports from The Miami Herald, on Friday, October 17 2008, at 10 a.m., 15 shots were fired at a woman while driving in Carrasquilla, Panama City. Eight shots hit the woman, one bullet entering her temple and exiting through her eyelid, causing permanent left-eye blindness. The woman, miraculously, survived. Read More>>

The Miami Herald v Derwick Associates

London - Well, well. At last, a major publication in the U.S. of A has echoed the catalogue of reports I have posted in this blog denouncing rampant corruption, and money laundering by a handful of Venezuelan thugs, and their American partners. Today, The Miami Herald published a piece by Otto Reich, former Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Ezequiel Vazquez-Ger, about, guess who? Derwick Associates. Reich and Vazquez-Ger were careful of not mentioning any names, explicitly, so that possible letters to The Miami Herald byattack-lawyer Hector Torres will not impede publication, but all necessary references are there. Read More>>