Theft, robbery and sabotage of strategic materials necessary for oil production have been reported.

The Attorney General reported today that a special counterintelligence unit has arrested the president of the Venezuelan Oil Coporation, CVP, who is also the former vice-president of Exploration and Production, as well as ten other managers of Petroleos de Venezuela, Pdvsa.

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The counter-intelligence unit concerned investigates corruption cases and oil production sabotage under the authority of the Attorney General’s office.

CVP President Orlando Chacin is accused of sabotaging the joint venture company, Petrozamora, owned by Venezuela’s state oil company and Russia’s Gazprom, operating in a group of oil fields on the eastern coast of Lake Maracaibo in the state of Zulia about 900km from Caracas. Chacin, who was Pdvsa’s vice-president of Exploration and Production until January 2017, had blocked the transfer to Petrozamora of five oil fields, their installations, assets and management staff of their Lake Division of Operational Coordination and of Integral Plant Operation.

That obstruction lead to the theft, robbery and sabotage of strategic materials necessary for oil production and severe failures in the supply of gas needed for oil production. Resulting losses are reckoned at 15,700 barrels a day equivalent to 15 million barrels for the period 2015-2017, worth almost US$500 million.

 

Saab explained that the charges against Chacín on his arrest by officers of the Office of Military Counterintelligence were criminal conspiracy, obstruction of freedom to trade, collusion with a sub-contractor, malicious embezzlement and criminal intent to damage the oil industry, all punishable under the Organic Law against Organized Crime and Terrorism, the Anti-Corruption Law and the Criminal Code.

Likewise, Saab reported that the other individuals arrested for sabotage include a superintendent of crude oil treatment and storage tank operations, laboratory and crude oil transit specialists; a head of crude oil accounting, and a representative of the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

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Also, four officials of the Petropiar company were arrested in the case of overpriced contracts involving joint venture companies in the Orinoco Oil Belt. They include supervisors of processing plant procurement, a superintendent of spill prevention and control and a supervisor of processing plant materials.

These cases are linked to the direct adjudication of contracts during failures or hold ups in the heavy crude improvement plants, suspected of being caused deliberately so as to provoke emergencies and thus justify awarding no-bid contracts. This worked to benefit a series of favored companies that over-charged by millions of dollars in exchange for illicit commissions, causing severe losses for Venezuela.

The detained officials of the Petropiar joint venture company were linked to a procurement contract Petropiar awarded to Romara Construction and Maintenance Services whose tender was overpriced by 10,000 percent. In that particular case, the bid process was open, but the contract was awarded to the company that made the highest bid.