Saturday, August 11, 2018

How Argentina's pillage was organized

Argentine jails are these days filling up with construction industry managers and public servants.  The discovery of the gang's delivery man's diary naming names and dates has opened a can of worms. The methodology was holding meetings between building companies and the Minister of Planning in charge of public works, to distribute the contracts. Once awarded, the advance payment - about 20% of the worth of the contract - was "returned" to the gang. This was compensated by allowing non-payment of the VAT (Value Added Tax), which was written down as to be paid some later date or effectively, never. In addition, the companies were asked to make political campaign contributions to the Peronist party, that were more or less legal.

Jose Lopez (pic), the Subminister of Public Works, had an important role in the chain. He had been caught with zipped bags containing million of dollars while trying to get rid of them. He was throwing the bags over the gate of a monastery. He declared that the money was not his but property of some un-nameable top politician. Except the content of those bags, the rest of the money has disappeared in an ocean of fake companies and secret accounts. 

Of course, we cannot compare Argentina (200 years of independence) with young Israel (70 years) but we too had our little public works scandal, in which was implicated my former boss Alex Vizhnitzer. We have yet much to learn from Argentina, they have elevated corruption to its highest level of perfection. 

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