How long the Arevenca con men can keep winning

Several weeks ago, I posted an article entitled, “How long can Arevenca con men keep on winning?” It got quite a bit of attention among bloggers and among victims of oil scams. What I have learned is that getting victims of this sort of fraud to go public with their complaints is harder than convincing a victim of sexual abuse to go public.

Like sexual abuse, cons are, fundamentally, psychological crimes. They operate less by force or fear, and more by exploiting tricks of the mind like the sunk cost fallacy, the Ben Franklin effect, the backfire effect, and many other mental tricks.

Victims of cons feel ashamed. They should have known better. They were warned about exactly this sort of scam. They are always better at sizing people up and avoiding trouble. How could this have happened? Especially for a smart person accustomed to successful business dealings, getting conned creates internal dissonance. “If I’m not good at making deals, what AM I good at?” It hurts.

There is also a fear of public embarrassment. Aside from the pain of admitting that one has been victimized, people also fear losing their hard-won reputations as successful, savvy businesspeople. Nobody wants to look like a sucker.

As with sexual abuse, victims must overcome their shame and be willing to come forward, if they want to save others from a similar fate. That requires that those of us who know victims — be it of an advance-fee fraud or a mustard scam — recognize that the people who lost money are not stupid. We all get suckered from time to time. Just that in the world of oil trading, the sums of money are bigger. We need to remember that “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” Insulting people just makes it more likely that they will stay silent, and scammers will continue to prosper.

So then here is the answer. Arevenca, and other con men, will keep on winning until they are confronted. The Internet is powerful, in that a news article, product review or lawsuit in one corner of the planet is immediately accessible almost everywhere. One might think this would make a less hospitable environment for people whose sole advantage is that their reputation is a secret. But it requires that those of you — yes, you, readers — who have been victimized, be willing to speak up.

On this topic, I received a comment here that gave a lot of details claiming that Arevenca had successfully fleeced a US company. I haven’t let the comment go out publicly because it talks a lot about the private affairs of specific people and companies, both as victims and perpetrators. I am careful about letting an anonymous commentors make such claims. But it’s very interesting. Please stay tuned.

9 thoughts on “How long the Arevenca con men can keep winning

  1. .5mt

    Not wanting to be seen as a sucker is an ancient trait amongst US citizens. I suspect it was because so many of us got our start running petty cons and ended up transported and on Hogarth paintings for our trouble.

  2. gustavo coronel

    Following on your story I published this in mu blog in November
    I published this in my blog, in september:
    martes 27 de septiembre de 2011
    AREVENCA: Se necesitan riñones
    IN THE PICTURE: Sylvain Nioufle Papillon, assistant and special envoy of President Laurent Gbagbo, Francisco Javier Gonzalez, President of Arevenca and Kore Moise, advisor of the president and Head of State of the Ivory Coast.

    AREVENCA, Arenera Venezolana C.A., fue convertida abruptamente por su presidente, Francisco Javier Gonzalez, en el Complejo refinador más grande del mundo. Al menos, así lo dice un comunicado de la empresa, escrito en un Inglés tarzánico por un tal Franklin Rodriguez, al anunciar una gigantesca refinería en la afortunada Costa de Marfil:
    “In the Republic of the Ivory Coast located in Western Africa, the greater petroleum refiner complex of the world will be constructed, through an ambitious project of private initiative, financed and executed in a lapse of five years by AREVENCA, multinational company of Venezuelan origin, which has decided to expand its operations towards other markets and to extend its capacity of transformation of the crude, with an investment superior to seven billions of dollars. In such sense, a representation of the government of that country, conformed by advisory number one of President Laurent Gbagbo, Mr. Kore Moise and his assistant, Sylvain Nioufle Papillon, visited the president of AREVENCA, Mr. Francisco Javier Gonzalez, in order to work up the details related to the positioning of the first stone, act of great importance that will take place in the next weeks, on the eve of the beginning of the construction of the gigantic work. President Laurent Gbagbo, through his representative Kore Moise, sent a message saluting the president of the multinational company AREVENCA, Mr. Francisco Javier Gonzalez, in which he expressed the intention of his government to collaborate in everything that is possible for the development of this private project. The governmental spokesman indicated the unconditional support from all the inhabitants of the nation, to make reality the mentioned project that will result in incalculable benefits for the Ivory Coast, which will be translated in the generation of employment for more than thirty five thousand (35,000) direct and indirect. ….Why the Ivory Coast? …..Francisco Gonzalez explained, we are processing at the moment an average of two million two hundred thousand (2.200.000) barrels of crude per day, nevertheless, the immediate goal is to extend our global capacity of refinement, elevating it to 3.5 million”.
    En el siguiente link, abajo, se ven las áreas donde AREVENCA dice poseer “refinerías”, incluyendo a Venezuela, por supuesto. Cuales serán estas refinerias? Por qué la policía venezolana no le ha preguntado a AREVENCA de donde saca estas grotescas afirmaciones? Tendrá algo que ver con esa tolerancia la cercanía de Gonzalez con Maduro? (ver foto en este blog, en una previa entrega) O será pura coincidencia?
    Publicado por Gustavo Coronel en 06:24
    7 comentarios:
    Beatrichini dijo…
    MIre esto para que se infarte

    27 de septiembre de 2011 09:59
    Yo otra vez dijo…
    Y su diversificacion es tal que hasta lineas aereas tiene Espero que no se caigan como los de Aeropostal

    27 de septiembre de 2011 10:02
    Anónimo dijo…
    Goodness gratious!!!
    ¡Francisco Javier González para presidente!
    ¡Arevenca será la empresa estatal insignia mas eficiente y productiva de Venezuela y el mundo!, pronto no necesitaremos ni a PDVSA ni a ninguna de las empresas estatales quebradas por nuestros administradores majunches.
    Y uno se pregunta: ¿qué clase de guiso habrá en Arevenca?, ¿quién es este personajillo Sr González? (a lo mejor resulta ser un hombre digno y decente…) En fin, es que no salimos de un asombro para ver el siguiente.

    27 de septiembre de 2011 13:03
    Anónimo dijo…
    Esto es una broma!! Este Sr. Gonzalez y sus ayudantes como que no tienen oficio. Como pueden dedicar tantas horas de trabajo en preparar estos sitios de internet para un chistesito??.

    27 de septiembre de 2011 19:38
    Anónimo dijo…
    La verdadera cara de Arevenca y FlyAruba en el siguiente link

    1 de octubre de 2011 08:05
    Anónimo dijo…
    arevenca tanto como su fundador no son mas que una mera estafa asi como todos sus colaboradores

    12 de noviembre de 2011 11:58
    Anónimo dijo…
    y al senor coronel me gustaria poder contactarlo me puede suministrar su email

    12 de noviembre de 2011 12:01

  3. moctavioguel Octavio

    Sophisticated scams are hard to beat, people do want to believe. Stanford Bank is the clearest example. When I first learned what they paid on CD’s I thought it was fishy. I spent 20 years telling people to stay away from it and accumulated evidence that it was indeed a scam. Very few people listened and most were smart and educated.

  4. TBD

    Estimado Sr. Coronel, quisiera conversar en privado con Ud. Podria Ud. indicarme su Nro. telefonico o direccion electronica para poder contactarlo? No puedo darle mi nombre por esta via; lo hare en cuanto haga contacto con Ud.

  5. dan

    Be careful with Arevenca refaniry they are no refinery,they say they have products but that is not true Be careful with Octavio Rafael alicandro Briceño he is the comercelicacion chief of Arevenca refaniry ,it is a big scam believe me!

  6. Robin Hood

    Arevenca is a SCAM, I was involved in a deal with them and almost got fleeced of $200M for a contract of jet fuel, only when we did our proper due-diligence the truth came out, Francisco Javier Gonzalez is a con man and I’m surprised he’s still running around a free man. All his claims of owning refineries and ships is pure fantasy. His latest BS is with the Aruba government and he’s got them suckered into one of his scams with an “airline” that hasn’t flown yet but has an A320 parked at the airport, I’m told he gave a deposit for it and nothing else. Anyone wiling to do a little research on this guy and his Arevenca group will be really surprised (and terrified). And he got the Chinese suckered into his deals too!! incredible!!

  7. Robin Hood

    I learned today that Arevenca’s chief Francisco Javier Gonzalez is in Aruba but is under prohibition from leaving the country by the authorities, stemming from lawsuits from the many employees of his pipedream airline Fly Aruba. Apparently he recruited many people under the promise of salaries well above industry norm and suckered them into working virtually for free for many months. I heard he ony paid them the first month’s salary but that was it. So, the Arevenca saga seems to be coming to and end. Rightfully so!!! However, Aruba is only a few miles by sea to Venezuela, I’m sure he could try to escape by small boat, or maybe a 200′ yacht to follow in the grand scheme of is usual delusions of grandeur.

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