It’s a sad phenomenon that we islanders frequently fall for flamboyant personalities, con artists in disguise, wolves in sheep’s clothing. I remember a few years ago a Canadian con artist who lived at Tierra del Sol for more than a year, his pants were scuffed, he was a slob, yet he was being wined and dine, driving a fancy free car, and living in a mansion on Arashi, which he did not pay for, just because he paraded himself as an investor. The desperate owners of the golf course, in their desire to sell, became totally blind to all signs of possible fraud! Then a few years ago, a so called Las Vegas casino operator with very bad teeth, presented himself to the authorities as an investor willing to buy La Cabana Beach & Racquet Club, which was in trouble then, and finance several other projects including a wind-mill park. He had great fun in Aruba, until his lies caught up with him. Then there was the original Sotheby real estate magnate who swindled his local partner, the Dutch crooks who bungled the Mill Resort deal, another set of criminals who butchered the Surfside sale, and a colorful New York attorney with an Italian name who so-called bought the Wydham hotel, only to spiral it into bankruptcy. They were all suave, and cunning. Everyone knew them at the top of their game, and everyone denied any knowledge of them, when they fell from grace. That’s why I read with great interest a report on 24Ora, on Sunday, that Roberto Rincón had zero involvement with the refinery deal, then on Thursday, NoticiaCla corrected that, and informed us that MinEnergy confirmed being introduced to the man, and that he indeed made the CITGO agreement happen, BUT, MinEnergy insisted that he did not meet with him in Houston, which is not true according to what I heard from people taking to the ministers. My question: Why did you first deny Rincón’s involvement, only to explain it later as an inconsequential flirtation, while in fact Rincón was your host paying all hotel and plane expenses, for the year. If I am wrong, credit card records can correct my version in no time and prove that my head is up my arse. Coming to think about it, wouldn’t you say that if Valero were able to sell the refinery is would, but it couldn’t. It was unable to find a buyer all these years. Don’t you think they would have loved to get some money for the clunker and free themselves from future damages and liability? And then it came to me, I finally connected the dots: Carvajal, the former head of Venezuelan intelligence did not come to Aruba to issue and stamp passports as the ambassador, he came here to network and prepare the stage on which a refinery deal would be struck to benefit him and his associate, Rincón. Carvajal came to Aruba to befriend ministers, movers and shakers, lay the groundwork for the next billion dollar sting, planning to live on the waterfront at the Coral Pyramid, in an apartment he committed to buy, but couldn’t pay for. It did not work out, because the US aborted his diplomatic career, but Rincón kept pushing, until he was arrested recently. The man is smart, but not that smart. And all along, no one on the island checked him out. I found some juicy stories about him, in: http://laorquideailustrada.blogspot.com/2015/12/alemanes-acusan-al-duque-rincon.html?m=1, check it out.