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News > Venezuela

Venezuela: PDVSA-Crypto Case Involves Far-Right Politicians

  • Venezuelan Attorney General Tareck William Saab, May 2, 2024.

    Venezuelan Attorney General Tareck William Saab, May 2, 2024. | Photo: X/ @MinpublicoVEN

Published 2 May 2024

Former Oil Minister Al-Aissami maintained links with Leopoldo Lopez and Julio Borges.

On Thursday, Venezuelan Attorney General Tareck William Saab offered new details on the PDVSA-Crypto case, which involves the use of cryptocurrencies for the corrupt appropriation of resources from the Petroleum of Venezuela company (PDVSA).


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The latest investigations by the Prosecutor's Office reveal that former Oil Minister Tareck Al-Aissami maintained links with far-right activists such as Leopoldo Lopez and Julio Borges, who have a new international arrest warrant.

"Al-Aissami and his aides came to form a criminal organization," Attorney General Saab said, referring to about 40 hours of recordings in which the former minister's name frequently appeared in accounts of coordination of actions with representatives of the U.S. diplomacy.

"The corruption and political conspiracy scheme definitely involves Leopoldo Lopez and Julio Borges with the PDVSA-Crypto scheme," he stressed, mentioning that the implicated parties held video conferences from 2018 to 2022.

The Attorney General indicated that the arrests of those involved allowed for the dismantling of a network of officials who arbitrarily allocated loads of crude oil, coke, and fuel oil to private agents and to the National Superintendence of Cryptoassets.

"These allocations were made without any administrative control or guarantees and in breach of PDVSA contracting regulations," Saab said, adding that similar corrupt practices also occurred in the company Cartones de Venezuela.

"After illegally marketing the assigned products, the payments did not enter PDVSA or the Central Bank of Venezuela but were distributed among the criminals."

The Attorney General also confirmed that the PDVSA-Crypto network members maintained contacts with U.S. officials, with whom they discussed overthrowing President Nicolas Maduro or the Operation Gedeon that took place in 2020.

In one of those conversations, Julio Borges, Samark Lopez, and Carlos Ocariz discuss establishing a direct communication channel with Al-Aissami to "build things" and conspire against the Venezuelan state.

"The audios make it clear that Al-Aissami was negotiating with those opponents through Samark Lopez to overthrow the constitutional government," the Attorney General emphasized.

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