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The bursting of La Venezolana’s bubble

The firm's business premises in the outskirts of Caracas are placed in administration. The Attorney General's Office and the National Assembly are receiving complaints from the victims (Venancio Alcázares)
The firm's business premises in the outskirts of Caracas are placed in administration. The Attorney General's Office and the National Assembly are receiving complaints from the victims (Venancio Alcázares)
The firm’s business premises in the outskirts of Caracas are placed in administration. The Attorney General’s Office and the National Assembly are receiving complaints from the victims (Venancio Alcázares)

EL UNIVERSAL – The firm Concesionario La Venezolana, a car dealership, was registered with an initial capital of just VEB 300,000 (USD 47,619) the price of a car in Venezuela. The company was incorporated in March last year and by September it had grossed VEB 100 million (USD 15,873,015).

The firm, charged with defrauding nearly 6,000 people, grew 333 times in just six months. A little more than a year lapsed since La Venezolana’s inception to the end of its life, during which time it grossed about USD 15 million, if calculated at the forex rate of VEB 6.30 per US dollar, or USD 2 million at the Sicad 2 forex rate.

José Ramón Briceño Hedderich, the firm’s current vice president, registered the company on March 22, 2013. He listed as a business partner a 20-year-old man who appears in the records of the Mission Sucre government educational program as “facilitator” and who didn’t even have a bank account. The business enterprise started up as a used car dealership in the greater Caracas area.

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