Home World News Corruption in the Venezuelan state oil company: there are already 21 detainees, including 10 officials

Corruption in the Venezuelan state oil company: there are already 21 detainees, including 10 officials

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Corruption in the Venezuelan state oil company: there are already 21 detainees, including 10 officials

At least 21 people, including 10 government officials, were detained in Venezuela for a corruption plot within the state oil company (PDVSA), the attorney general, Tarek William Saab, said on Saturday that he expects the arrest of 11 more implicated.

“We have 10 officials arrested,” Saab said when he offered to take stock of a new “crusade” against corruption that led to the resignation of oil minister Tareck El Aissami, an influential Chavismo leader.

El Aissami’s resignation, sanctioned by the United States for alleged drug trafficking, was announced two days after the prosecutor appointed five prosecutors to investigate alleged crimes being investigated by the National Anti-Corruption Police.

The officials are charged with “appropriation or misappropriation of public property, boasting or use of relationships or influence, money laundering and association and treason,” it added.

Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab at a press conference this Saturday in Caracas.  Photo.  AFP extension

Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab at a press conference this Saturday in Caracas. Photo. AFP extension

Among the detainees are several collaborators of the former minister, such as the Vice President of Commerce and Supply of the PDVSA Antonio José Pérez Suárez, the head of the Superintendency of Cryptoactives Joselit Ramírez and the now ex-MP Hugbel Roa, one of the creators of the Cryptocurrency Venezuelan Petro.

Saab explained that the rest of the detained officials are members of the PDVSA’s Department of Trade and Supply and the Digital Mining Intendancy. The other 11 arrested are entrepreneurs, one of them identified as Daniel Pietro, arrested in the Dominican Republic when he attempted to escape.

The prosecutor has issued instructions for the arrest of 11 other entrepreneurs.

Officials proceeded “to carry out oil operations parallel” to those of Petróleos de Venezuela through “loads of crude oil on ships (…) without any kind of administrative control,” he said.

The Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, at the center of a huge corruption plot.  Photo.  REUTERS

The Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, at the center of a huge corruption plot. Photo. REUTERS

A millionaire fraud

“The corresponding payments to Petróleos de Venezuela have not been made, there is pecuniary damage,” he continued, without revealing the amount of the embezzlement because the investigation is in the first phase, although press reports place it in at least 3,000 million dollars. Pro-government MP Hernnam Escarrá spoke of up to 23,000 million.

“This network used a conglomerate of commercial companies to legitimize capital,” he stressed, showing a video in which small planes, buildings under construction, cash, a warehouse full of vehicles were seized.

President Nicolás Maduro, who has previously heralded crusades against corruption, on Monday questioned whether many of his former aides, now in prison, led lives filled with “extravagance”.

The prosecution said so since 2017 he has investigated 31 “bribery schemes” in PDVSA with a balance of 194 inmates.

Saab also clarified that three judges arrested in the last week are unrelated to the PDVSA plot and have been arrested for corruption in the judiciary area.

Meanwhile, the mayor of the city of Tejerías in Aragua (center), Pedro Hernández, was arrested for his alleged links with the leader of the criminal gang “El Conejo”, Carlos Gómez, who was killed by the authorities on Thursday.

Source: agencies

Source: Clarin

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