Haiman El Troudi Has no One to Investigate Him

The judicial authorities of Switzerland found a connection between the wife and the mother-in-law of the former Venezuelan minister with at least 40 million dollars deposited in eight bank accounts, one of which was shared with one of the main negotiators of bribes and kickbacks between Odebrecht and the governments of Chávez and Maduro. Although they asked the Venezuelan justice to investigate the matter, the courts denied any possibility of addressing the case and the Venezuelan Prosecutor's Office, led by Tarek William Saab, acts as if not aware.

The former Minister of Land Transport and Public Works, Haiman El Troudi, was not even investigated. They passed him by. The Bolivarian justice has just held his family harmless, despite the fact that alarms went off last year in Switzerland, when the names of his wife and his mother-in-law appeared in a tangle of bank accounts that received suspicious business transfers from offshore companies linked to Odebrecht.

Judge Luis Argenis Marcano Sarabia —in charge of the Eleventh Court of First Instance in Regulatory Matters of Caracas— held them harmless through a ruling that ignores the investigations in Switzerland that found the Venezuelan women María Baptista and Elita Zacarías -wife and mother-in-law of the official - as holders, beneficiaries or, at least, with authorized signature in eight bank accounts that total more than 40 million dollars.

Haiman El Troudi, Former Minister of Land Transport and Public Works.

"Any measure that has been requested or executed to the detriment of Elita del Valle Zacarías Díaz and María Eugenia Baptista Zacarías, holders of identity card No. V-3.713.952 and V-13.801.638, respectively, regardless of the judicial control provided for in the Law, is void, irreversible, and consequently, must be revoked." This was resolved by the judge at year-end, on December 13, 2017, in a decision that has just been known now after he waited over three months to notify it to the Prosecutor’s Office.

The judge dismissed the case on his own initiative, without any prosecutor requesting it, even though on the 15th floor of Centro Villasmil in the Candelaria parish of Caracas, in the offices of the 55th National Prosecutor's Office, there is a file of documents sent from Switzerland, which include the names of the wife and the mother-in-law of the former minister in 8 out of 12 bank accounts that the prosecutor's office in that country links to Odebrecht and the other construction companies that were part of the bribes and commissions of the Lava Jato plot.

The authorities warn of a transfer of 16.3 million Swiss francs from Cresswell Overseas Ltd - one of the proven facades of Odebrecht - to bank accounts of El Troudi’s relatives.

In addition to the accounts in the name of the wife and the mother-in-law of El Troudi, the Swiss prosecutor's office managed to document at least one case in which the money came from offshore companies that the Brazilian company used to pay bribes. "It has been possible to reconstruct a link, at least in the case of certain payments, between the aforementioned name code and the Metro Guarenas-Guatire project in Venezuela," Attorney General of Switzerland Francesca Ghilardi said in a document endorsed with an Apostille that she sent last year to Venezuela, to the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic through its embassy in Caracas. "Once the money was in the account of Alfa International SA, it was substantially transferred to accounts in the name of Elita del Valle Zacarías Díaz and María Eugenia Baptista Zacarías in Switzerland and abroad."

If it is already difficult for a Venezuelan official to justify tens of millions in times of exchange control, in the city of Lugano the authorities warned of a transfer of 16.3 million Swiss francs from Cresswell Overseas Ltd - one of the proven facades of Odebrecht- to bank accounts of the relatives of El Troudi, with a scale in account number 0251-1499613 that Credit Suisse says is in the name of a firm called Alfa International SA, which also includes the wife and the mother-in-law of El Troudi, together with three other Venezuelans, Alejandra Urdaneta Tovar, Jorge Lander and no more and no less than Luis Enrique Delgado Contreras himself. This name came up in the trials of Brazil on the Lava Jato plot, as one of the commission agents who managed bribes and kickbacks in the Caracas Metro.

The Messenger of Millions

Delgado was a kind of Trojan horse that Odebrecht found in Caracas to streamline payments within the Venezuelan government and even to leak information and documents that would later work in its benefit. Not in vain, between 2011 and 2015, he received and channeled 100 million dollars in commissions, according to the testimony of the Superintendent Director that the construction company had in Venezuela, Euzenando Azevedo, who currently maintains a low profile in the city of Sao Paulo after becoming the key witness of the Odebrecht plot in Venezuela.

"On several occasions, Luis Delgado brought us draft copies of confidential documents (approval of resources for works, contractual additives, internal studies, evaluations on price adjustments due to inflation) of these clients, giving us the opportunity to change," said Azevedo in Brazil to the prosecutors of the case in December 2016, in exchange for procedural benefits.

In 2012, Odebrecht even forged through Delgado an Action Memorandum sent to President Hugo Chávez, to multiply the amounts agreed upon in the initial budget. "I remember that in 2012, we worked together with Luis Delgado on a document approving resources for works (called "Action Memorandum "), entitled Menu of Strategic Decisions, containing all the necessary works to be done in the framework of the works of Metro de Caracas and Metro de Los Teques companies and worked as a general authorization of the President of the Republic for these clients to sign contractual additives with the Company for a value equal to US $ 12 billion," revealed Azevedo. "This document, although technically speaking, it should have been an internal document prepared by the Ministry of Transport, was a document that the company had the possibility to change practically in its entirety and that was approved exactly as requested to Luis Delgado."

Odebrecht Caracas

Official Silence

None of these facts has been investigated in Venezuela. If the case of the relatives of El Troudi did not go beyond a regulatory court, the public prosecutor general appointed by the Constituent, Tarek William Saab, has not even referred to that matter.

In addition to being Minister of Land Transport and President of Metro de Caracas and Los Teques, El Troudi has passed by the Chavista administration as Minister of Planning and Development, representative of the government before multilateral organizations like the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and, specially, as director of President Chávez's office.

He led a series of alterations to El Valle-Coche highway in Caracas, which generated criticism and rejection after causing the overflow of the Guaire River. In his Twitter account, he still presents himself as a deputy for the state of Miranda, although he has not even been seen in the Assembly. Today, one can hear more about him in Switzerland than for the investigations by the Public Prosecutor's Office. The prosecutors of that country emphasize that his wife -the same who transfers dollars abroad- "was for a certain period the director of Metro de Caracas."

Not in vain, Saab was already elusive with Odebrecht when he was at the head of the Prosecutor’s Office. "We will not work based on speculations," he replied in last year’s September when asked about the testimonies and evidence from Brazil that involved president Nicolás Maduro. "It is absurd", "immoral" and "null," he added last month when the magistrates of the so-called Supreme Court of Justice in exile approved a preliminary judgment to prosecute Maduro for his role in the Odebrecht plot.

Saab neither responded to a question sent by Armando.info through his press officer about the reasons for the dismissal of the case opened against the relatives of El Troudi.

Tarek William Saab

As if it were the plague, Chavism seldom refers to the matter, even though Odebrecht did not even finish more than half of its works in Venezuela. Former Minister Haiman El Troudi barely claimed that it was "a dirty trick" when prosecutor Pedro Lopera summoned his wife and mother-in-law as accused in last year’s July, after receiving evidence from Switzerland.

But the Bolivarian justice soon released El Troudi from all responsibility or suspicion while prosecutor Lopera is paying today that indiscreet summons with the exile, after having been accused of corruption by Diosdado Cabello in his program “Con el mazo dando”.

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