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News > Venezuela

Venezuelan Defense Minister Supports Arrest of Former Ministers

  • Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino-Lopez.

    Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino-Lopez. | Photo: X/ @DCNhoy

Published 10 April 2024

Minister Padrino-Lopez pointed out that those former officials lacerated the national heritage.

On Wednesday, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino-Lopez endorsed the arrests of former Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami and former Economy Minister Simon Zerpa for their involvement in a corruption scheme related to the state oil company PDVSA.


FreeAlexSaab Supports Fight against Corruption by Bolivarian Govt.

"In unrestricted adherence to its traditions and ethical principles, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) strongly and unequivocally supports all the actions that the Bolivarian government and the Prosecutor's Office have been carrying out in the incessant fight against corruption, specifically, those related to the recent arrests of former public officials," he said.

"In a rude and aberrant way, these officials lacerated the national heritage through their own acts and, what is even worse, through the establishment of links with unscrupulous businessmen and U.S. imperialism's institutions."

These links allowed "instrumentalizing actions of financial sabotage, which have significantly affected the country's political, economic, and social stability," Padrino-Lopez stressed.

The Defense minister stated that the FANB will continue to follow the guidelines and orders of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro regarding "eradicating any immoral practices in the management of public resources."

On Tuesday, Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced the arrest of El Aissami for corruption charges. This occurred a year after he resigned from his position to cooperate with the investigations.

Saab explained that this is the second phase of an anti-corruption operation related to a scheme in PDVSA. So far, over 50 people have been arrested in the investigations of this case and the authorities do not rule out new arrests.

El Aissami will be charged with five crimes, including treason and money laundering, the Venezuelan Attorney General informed. Former Oil Minister Zerpa and businessman Samark Lopez will be charged with crimes such as misappropriation or diversion of public assets, flaunting or taking advantage of relationships or influences, and illicit association.

According to the investigations, a network of officials used their positions to carry out illegal oil operations by assigning crude oil loads without any administrative control or guarantees, which violated PDVSA's contracting regulations.

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