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Those Monopolizing Imports for CLAPs Now Import Medicines too

The Hong Kong-registered company, linked to Colombian entrepreneurs Alex Nain Saab Morán and Álvaro Enrique Pulido Vargas, seems to be the great ally of Nicolás Maduro Government. Millionaire contracts for the supply of millions of CLAP boxes, the flagship program of Hugo Chávez's successor, were just the beginning. The company, with a foggy trail in Venezuela, also acts as the intermediary of the Ministry of Health in the purchase of the highly-scarce medicines in hospitals and pharmacies in the country.     

17/06/2018 12:46:08

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The businesses of Alex Nain Saab Morán and Álvaro Enrique Pulido Vargas with the Venezuelan Government extend and diversify behind the screen of Group Grand Limited. The company related to these Colombian entrepreneurs, registered in Hong Kong and with no trace in Venezuela, not only sells millions of boxes with food from the program of the Local Committee for Supply and Production (Clap) to the Government of Nicolás Maduro, but is also one of the intermediaries chosen by the Venezuelan leadership to buy medicines in India.

The fact that it is almost a dummy company has not prevented Group Grand Limited from achieving a millionaire shower of contracts that based on last year’s documents reveal that the company acts as a supplier of medicines for the Ministry of People’s Power for Health (MPPS), endorsed by the state-owned Venezuelan Foreign Trade Corporation (Corpovex), which centralizes public imports, headed by Major General Giuseppe Yoffreda Yorio.

In March 2017, at least three contracts for the purchase of medicines, amounting to just over 213 million dollars and identified with the numbers 0026, 0030 and 0050 were entered into between Group Grand Limited and Corpovex. The first one, for a value of 70.9 million dollars, set the exchange rate at - the now extinct - 10 bolivars per dollar "under exchange agreement No. 35 of March 9, 2016;" preferential dollars that local pharmaceutical companies have not seen for years, suffocated by the exchange rate trap that has led to a 60% collapse of the pharmaceutical market since 2014 and a nearly 90% shortage of medicines in the country.