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The life train of weft Chavez: 10 million in luxury

The accounts in Andorra of Venezuelan former ministers and businessmen investigated for collecting commissions reveal extravagant expenses in watches, wines and hotels

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The life train of weft Chavez: 10 million in luxury

The Venezuelan entrepreneur Diego Salazar had a weakness: wine Pomerol Petrus of 1990. Your price, 5,560 euros a bottle. In December 2012 it was made with 694 units of this and or select wines, Dom Perignon included. Lavinia's invoice, on Boulevard de la Madelaine in Paris, added 493,573 euros.

The expense is an example of train of life that wrapped Salazar, his cousin Luis Mariano Rodríguez, and ex-Deputy minister of Energy and Oil of Venezuela Nervis Villalobos for a decade. All three were part of alleged network of leaders and entrepreneurs close to government of former president Hugo Chávez who hid 2 billion euros in Andorra. And toger y disbursed about 10 million euros in luxury goods. His minutes included generous invitations to third parties, according to bills that country has had access to.

Expand photo Bill of two million dollars for purchase of 93 watches from one of Panamanian firms of Diego Salazar. The country

In its spiral of spending, Salazar and Ramírez paid three million euros in jewellery; Two million in works of art; One million in wines and 516,012 euros in helicopter rental. Their invoices also included tailor-made suits (953,000 euros) and a section that can be called various caviar, ham and delicatessen (125,000).

The payments were channeled through a web of 37 current accounts that alleged plot managed between 2007 and 2012 in private Banking D'Andorra (BPA). The majority of se deposits had behind created societies in Panama. The judge of Andorra Canòlic Mingorance traces wher network used its commercial skein to collect illegal commissions to foreign companies that later received contracts from State company Petroleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA).

Extend photo invoice of 493,573 euros from Lavinia wine store of 694 bottles paid by one of companies of Diego Salazar, cousin of former minister of energy of Venezuela Rafael Ramírez. The country

The Jewellery chapter — most ostentatious with 3.4 million euros — collects purchase at 2011 for 1.7 million euros of 109 luxury watches, including a hundred Rolex and Cartier. The acquisition was managed through a Panamanian company controlled by Salazar, who is cousin of Rafael Ramírez, former president of PDVSA and until two weeks ago Ambassador of Venezuela to United Nations Organization (UN). The former minister's family was also spent a million euros in a jewellery in Caracas in watches and gold and shiny chains.

Venezuelan authorities arrested Salazar last week in capital of that country for his alleged involvement in plot and prosecution announced that he has opened an investigation against Ramirez, a strong man of Chávez.

Anor Panamanian company, Josland Investments, paid in 2011 an invoice of 90,500 euros in watches that included two Rolex of yellow gold. After this acquisition appears name of Nervis Villalobos, Deputy Minister of Energy of Venezuela between 2004 and 2006, who was arrested in Madrid last October for a different cause than that is investigated in Andorra. The two lawyers of Villalobos have declined to answer questions of this newspaper.

Enlarge photo Invoice of 40 tubs of Beluga caviar worth 60,999 euros paid by alleged member of Venezuelan plot Luis Mariano Rodríguez.

Gourmet cuisine was a constant. A October 2012 invoice shows that Salazar paid 42,398 euros for acquiring 9.3 kilos of Joselito Iberico ham and 40 tubs of Beluga caviar, among or delicacies. His cousin Rodríguez disbursed in a shop in Paris anor 61,000 euros for 40 containers of se Roe and or 40 units of variety Osciètre.

Spoliation

The hotels section confirms that Salazar loved luxury. The businessman ran with account of Ritz of Paris of citizens Javier R. E Irma T. For its accommodation in this establishment of Estancias palatial, cousin of former minister Ramírez disbursed 575,000 euros for ten years of reserves. The bills include charges of 34,216 euros for renting limousines and 6,223 for a day of drinks in bar of Ritz, Hemingway.

The Four seasons of Paris, a hotel with tapestries of eighteenth century, was anor of establishments chosen by Salazar to entertain his acquaintances. The cousin of former minister Chavez paid an invoice of 150,000 euros for several stays in 2011 of two Venezuelan citizens.

Extend photo invoice of 340,000 dollars for eight luxury watches paid by former minister of Venezuela Nervis Villalobos. The country

Salazar's name is also linked to payment of an invoice of 412,302 euros from a corporate flight firm, which includes travel to Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). His cousin Luis Mariano Rodríguez authorized in 2010 to BPA payment a transfer of 470,000 euros to pay some costumes acquired in France.

And it was precisely BPA entity that used alleged plot Chavez to whiten ir loot and pay ir luxury purchases. The authorities of Andorra, where until last year governed bank secrecy, intervened in March 2015 this bank. The United States reported that financial institution was used by criminal gangs to launder funds. Their owners deny it.

The prosecutor's office of Venezuela raises more than 3.5 billion alleged plundering of PDVSA and has recently announced that in Registry of House of Salazar in Caracas y found documents that involve Rafael Ramírez, man of confidence of former President Chávez who He directed state oil company for 12 years.

investigacion@elpais.es

Two million in Venezuelan art

The businessman Diego Salazar has a Venezuelan art gallery valued at almost two million, according to an appraisal of 2008 elaborated by a gallery in Caracas that has had access to country

The jewel of its heritage is oil on canvas Aguerrevere Herrera of Arturo Michelea. The piece has a market price of 636,630 euros.

His collection includes paintings quay on Crane of Armando Reveron (438,850 euros) and oil on April 19, signed by Michele and assessed at 341,658 euros.

Salazar, who was arrested in Caracas recently and is cousin of Rafael Ramírez, former president of PDVSA and an exambassador of Venezuela at UN, felt a predilection for painter Mateu Manaure. It has at least eight works of this modernist artist valued at 136,000 euros.

The appraisal is contained in inquiries instructed by a judge in Andorra on alleged laundering scheme linked to plundering of PDVSA.

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