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Swiss authorities keep laundering money: exhibit Nervis Villalobos

Of the first 10 results in a Google search for Nervis Villalobos eight are related to his direct involvement in corruption. Existing public evidence can easily demonstrate that Villalobos is a former Venezuelan official and politically exposed person. Since 2012, criminal probes involving Villalobos have been launched in Venezuela, USA, Portugal, Spain, Andorra and Switzerland. Despite abundance of evidence of criminal involvement, Villalobos was able to bid, and purchase, from Swiss authorities in St Moritz, a 6 million CHF ($6.479.000) luxury apartment that was auctioned in 2019, as reported by Christian Brönnimann for the Tages Anzeiger.

According to Brönnimann's article, relevant authorities from St Moritz claimed they do not have a legal duty to ensure legitimacy of funds used to purchase properties. Their only obligation is to sell to the highest bidder, which Villalobos was at time of auction.

Villalobos' decision to bid, with his own name and with a Spanish address (Paseo del Conde de Gaitanes 173, Alcobendas, 28100 Madrid), gives an indication of just how brazen Venezuelan criminals are. Villalobos knows he's under investigation in many jurisdictions. He has, in fact, been fighting extradition to the U.S., where he is wanted in connection to multi billion dollar corruption schemes.

While authorities from Canton of Graubünden were happily taking corruption proceeds from Villalobos, other Swiss authorities were sharing with U.S. Department of Justice financial details that reveal corruption of epic proportions. A later ruling from Switzerland's Federal Tribunal indicates that Villalobos received, just in Switzerland, some 212,165,625 million CHF ($229 million) and $78 million in separate accounts related to one of PDVSA's largest ever graft schemes (Ramirez, Oberto Anselmi, Betancourt, Convit, Diazgranados, Benhamou, de Beaumont). Of that amount, some $148 million, plus the St Moritz property, have been seized.

The fact that no due diligence whatsoever was done on Villalobos prior to purchase shows how pervasive corruption is in Switzerland. The judiciary springs to action only when forced through legal collaboration requests coming from DoJ, and even in those cases, keeps ruling in criminals' favor. Probes related to Alex Saab's millions in Swiss banks were flatly rejected by Geneva prosecutor Endri Gega. Alejandro Betancourt was exposed as a Swiss banker in this site. Ditto Alessandro Bazzoni and Danilo Diazgranados. Evidence of laundering of billions of dollars at EFG Bank and Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique has been published here. Nothing has been done in that regard. When it comes to money laundering, Switzerland is always open for business.

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