For those late to the story: Arevenca is a Venezuelan company that may have once been a gravel yard. It has little history in Venezuela, but has a spectacular website advertising vast holdings in the oil shipping and refining industries. Almost everything on the site appears to be false. None of its refineries exist. No ships registered to Arevenca appear in any shipping databases. A supposed Nigerian company, which also has no paper trail, sued Arevenca in the US for allegedly accepting payment for a shipment of petroleum products and then failing to either deliver the fuel or return the cash. Separately, I have heard from various sources that a company in the US paid Arevenca US$7.8 million for petroleum products that never arrived. Just after that transaction, Arevenca leased an Airbus jet and tried to start an airline in Aruba — investing, according to a recent company statement to the press, 14 million florins, which coincidentally is equal to US$7.8 million. Aruban authorities haven’t yet given this airline, Fly Aruba, an operating license, so the jet has been sitting on the runway, gathering salt in its engines. Fly Aruba had started to train workers, but the workers have recently been getting impatient about the company failing to make payroll. Those workers have started sending lawyer letters to Arevenca.
ON TO THE NEWS:
Reader JS sends these news clippings from Aruba newspaper Bon Dia.
Our trusty correspondent summarizes the reporting thus:
The process has started [in which the workers get the court to] declare the company bankrupt…. The newspaper spoke to 2 employees but the lawyer of the employees could not be contacted…. The date for this process is not yet known and it is in the hand of a judge to decide the future of Fly Aruba.
In the other article [Arevenca President Francisco Javier Gonzalez] is saying he doesn’t understand why they want to declare the company bankrupt as he doesn’t owe the employees anything. He says he was giving the employees a gift [rather than salary] while they were in training. The newspaper is asking, is this stated in the contract of the employees and how is it possible that workers get a gift instead of wages? And is FJG paying taxes on this gift to the employees? FJG did not want to answer these questions to the newspaper but confirmed that he is operating under local law and conditions. He explained that the thousands of question they had for him will be answered when the time is right.
Now just to game this out a little, if the Aruban authorities go along with this idea of declaring Arevenca bankrupt and seizing some of its goods to pay workers, that is less money for the US company and the Nigerian company who are also trying to get money out of Arevenca. Could be a mess.