Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chavez Buddy Has 5 Million Dollar Jet Busted

Shopping Trip Cut Short

So a five million dollar private jet arrives in Ft. Lauderdale on May 17. The DEA is suspicious, since it is wrongfully registered as belonging to US Nationals. Normally, characters like Dope dealers, arms traffickers and money launderers prefer US registration because it means less nosy customs and DEA people lookin at your Lear Jet. The DEA ends up seizing the plane, after talking to the passengers.

Passenger included the wife of the owner, a certain, Mrs. Daniela Steppa Martín. And the owner ends up being a certain Ricardo Fernández Barruecos, who it turns out is not only a Venezuelan national, but he happens to be a major Chavez crony, a "Boliviarian Businessman" as The Nuevo Herald put it. He is the owner of "Industria Venezolana Maicera Pronutricos", and a partner in the Proarepa conglomerate, that has been making crazy money off the regime's dispensing of petrodollars to friends.

I wonder if the Mrs. was here to do some shopping or maybe to look after their properties? She is not the only Chavista-friend who flies into South Florida in a private jet.