|rigid small envelope|
A friend coming back from France after a stay of several months showed me the following envelopes that he received while there. These envelopes had been opened by the Nazional Guard of Venezuela as you can read on the resealing tape if you click on the pictures to enlarge.
These envelopes carried business items that required signatures: contracts, loans, sales, etc.. Just normal stuff that he is required to sign as he is one of the owners of the business but not working there anymore. The envelopes used were standard Federal Express ones: that is either the larger plastic fiber ones to ship single books or dossiers, and the flat thin rigid cardboard ones to ship letters of no more than a dozen pages. In other words envelopes that can not be used for drug trafficking, or in small amounts for personal use so to speak, or that any dog can sniff by simply clipping an edge of the envelope if the border police wished it so. In other words, there is no justification to open these envelopes, and even less justification to open so many of them.
But that is not all, it happens with the other international carrier too, DHL (he receives about 3 envelopes a month between both of them, all of them opened by the Nazional Guard in the last three months).
|large plastified envelope|
I need to stress that this friend is also an occasional business partner, that he is semiretired and that his businesses and money are perfectly legal and legitimate, justifying his comfortable but not rich lifestyle level, so to speak.
|tape to reseal|
Why is the Nazional guard doing that? Is he under investigation? And we can safely assume he is not since he came back to Venezuela last week in spite of the open envelopes. That is, he probably sleeps well. Is it drug trafficking chase? In that case why focus on something that cannot ship more than a hundred grams of drug that would probably be caught in Europe at arrival anyway? After all the Nazional Guard should focus first on all the local traffic that numbers hundreds of pounds caught either on ships or planes....
No, my theory is very simple: the corrupt Nazional Guard, deeply penetrated by drug and people traffickers, and thus organized crime is abusing its power to read people's mail in order to try to get their worth, their accounts, etc., so as to try to blackmail them, or take them for ransom, or fraud their account and steal their money, etc, etc... they have it easy because in the era of internet mail only carries official documents, no love letters anymore to sift through.
You have been warned: do not send any document from Venezuela that may reveal your worth (bank info, checks cashed, etc...)
Update: I did some additional home work.
My friend told me that ALL the received mail this year had been opened. I do not personally of anyone that was long enough out of the country this year to check out with them but I am working on that.
I did happen to have to pick up at a FedEx drop place. The attendant nicely explained to me that yes, indeed, drug traffic through FedEx and DHL was a problem. That a couple of months ago a very nice older gentleman came to mail a "book" for his children in Spain and three days later the Guard came to interrogate her because the book was full of dope. Since then she had a camera installed on her computer and takes a picture of everyone that comes to make a drop off.
This being said she did not know that all was opened and she thinks it is ridiculous because the thin envelopes cannot carry any significant amount of dope. And business that are registered get the pick up and delivery without ID pictures, finger prints, etc.... So it was just more hassle for her. At the end on her own she told me that surely there was something at play, "you know, with all those Cubans everywhere".
And thus the final conclusion seem to be that the Cuban snitches use the drug excuse to read everyone's mail.