Venezuelan businessman Luis Aular Peralta - owner of Outsourcing de Venezuela, S.A., the company in charge of the construction of the cold chain for $75 million - yesterday accused Javier Pariente, vice president of Importadora Ricamar, the trade name of Super 99, whose owner is former President Ricardo Martinelli, of having "extorted" him for $10 million to receive the contract.
He said he was forced to sign a consulting contract with the supplier of dehydrated food: Lerkshore International Limited, whose legal representative is Rubén De Ycaza, a personal friend of Pariente. That contract was worth $10 million.
He claimed that if he refused to sign the contract, he would lose the contract.
"That would have been a severe economic blow for me and I had to sign," Aular Peralta said, adding that Pariente told him he represented the "great white shark," referring to Martinelli.
Pariente has also been linked to allegations of corruption in the National Assistance Program (PAN). Lerkshore International Limited was paid the sum of $60 million in 2010 by the PAN under the management of Giacomo Tamburrelli.
He did not return phone calls seeking comment about the allegations.
Outsourcing de Venezuela, S.A. received the cold chain contract on Nov. 29, 2011. It was the only company to participate in the tender.