An AP article reported the following today about the wife of jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. She is now part of a criminal investigation after 200 million Bolivares in cash were found in a car she owned.
“Tintori said she kept such a large sum in cash because of spiraling triple-digit inflation that has pulverized the value of Venezuela’s currency and because no local bank would open an account or give a credit card to such an outspoken critic of the government.” [my emphasis]
A private bank illegally gave her crates of brand new bills direct from the dock where they were unloaded!
It was a sum over 6000 times larger than banks in Venezuela generally give to one person at one time. Two executives at that bank, Banco Occidental de Descuento, were arrested over this case. Clearly, private banks in Venezuela are willing to do a hell of a lot more for the super-rich Venezuelans like Tintori than give them legal access to cash.
It’s worth highlighting something else the Telesur article pointed out.
In April, the bank faced another scandal when its Vice President of Public Affairs, sociologist and university professor Tulio Hernandez, published messages on his Twitter inciting violence against government supporters, urging people to throw heavy objects at them. A day later a man threw a bottle of frozen water from a building, killing a nurse who was walking by a pro-government march.