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SCANDALS: This Job Is Jinxed

1 minute read

In Argentina the post of Economic Minister has become almost as star-crossed as the hyperinflated economy. The previous officeholder, Miguel Roig, 68, died July 14, just six days after he joined the Cabinet of incoming President Carlos Saul Menem. Roig’s successor, businessman Nestor Rapanelli, 60, had been on the job only three days last week when newspaper reports disclosed that a judge in Venezuela had put out a warrant for his arrest in connection with a $6 billion trade-fraud scheme.

The crime allegedly took place in 1985 and 1986, when Rapanelli, who has denied any wrongdoing, managed Gramoven, a Venezuelan affiliate of the Argentine agribusiness giant Bunge y Born. The judge charged that Gramoven had overbilled Caracas for grain. Venezuela is unlikely to prosecute the minister, however, because the two countries have no extradition treaty.

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