The crackdown is here! Maduro is serious about the war on corruption. Venezuela news aggregator Etorno Inteligente reports (my translation):
The attorney general jailed engineer Milton Ramón Caldera Rodríguez, apprehended November 5 2013 for allegedly soliciting 18,000 bolivars and approving a security performance evaluation for the company Hidrolab Toro Consultores CA, service provider to Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA)…
The judge sentenced Caldera to imprisonment at the police station … of Barinas….
On Tuesday, October 30, 2013, the PDVSA engineer may have solicited the amount of 18,000 bolivars from a representative of Hidrolab Toro Consultores CA in order to approve a security performance evaluation. …The company complained to the Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (Sebin).
On November 5 … Caldera was called to the Altos Barinas hotel where the money was handed over. After receiving the money he was detained by Sebin officers…
18,000 bolivars. The current parallel rate in Venezuela is 55 bolivars to the dollar, even though the government has resorted to its most overt Great Firewall type tactics ever to keep people from knowing that.*
This engineer was detained for demanding a bribe of US$327.27.
Or to put it in upper middle class purchasing power terms, that would buy the engineer a nice steak dinner out for a family of four (3,000), a large Christmas tree (3,000), an off-brand polo shirt (1,100), a Samsung Galaxy S I9000 (3,500) and a new bumper for a Toyota 4×4 (8,000).
Or in even simpler terms: less than the price of a new IPhone 4S.
So please remember that, PDVSA workers. You can’t go demanding bribes. You need to wait for the vendor to suggest it to you.
* Yes, Dolar Today is being blocked by all ISPs, as is the Twitter link-shortener bit.ly. as the brainiac Cuban, Iranian or Chinese people running the country’s censorship program don’t realize that Dolar Today uses goo.gl and that blocking bit.ly just cuts people off from everything else.