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News > Venezuela

Venezuelan Prosecutor's Office Reveals PDVSA-Crypto Financiers

  • Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab, May 7, 2024.

    Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab, May 7, 2024. | Photo: X/ @ReporteFN

Published 7 May 2024

The corruption scheme included media influencers and journalists based in the United States.

On Tuesday, Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab presented new evidence of the connection between far-right activists and former officials involved in the PDVSA-Crypto corruption case.


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"We have determined that the main financial backer of this case was Samark Lopez, who began assembling the political conspiracy," Saab stated while presenting an audio recording of a phone conversation between Leopoldo Lopez and Samark Lopez.

Saab also revealed a recording in which Lopez made a series of revelations about how the former Oil Minister Tareck Al-Aissami had an extortionate media network to destroy the reputations of Venezuelan politicians.

In the recording made just two days ago, Lopez describes this new facet of the corruption scheme, which not only includes social media figures but also journalists based in Miami and New York.

The Attorney General highlighted that this corruption network sought not only to harm Venezuela but also to destroy its economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former oil minister Al-Aissami had a phantom payroll to launch systematic harassment campaigns to destroy lives and extort businessmen, military authorities, and politicians.

His payroll included communicators with whom he launched smear campaigns to achieve extortions ranging from US$30,000 to US$100,000. "This parallel payroll was funded by one of Al-Aissami's operators, Joselit Ramirez," the Venezuelan Attorney General said.

"Now, with compelling evidence, we are certain of an open political conspiracy to execute coups and attack refineries and barracks... In the fight against oil corruption alone, we have prosecuted 290 people and convicted 76 of them," he added.

The Attorney General also asserted that new evidence points to the political conspiracy beginning in 2014, "when Al-Aissami and Lopez had intentions to assemble this political conspiracy, in which right-wing leaders in the country, U.S. diplomats, and members of the State Department are implicated."

Among the individuals involved in the smear campaigns, the Attorney General mentioned owners of digital platforms such as Daniel Lara Farias and Wilmer Villalobos, who received up to US$5,000 for their work.

According to Lopez's statements, these individuals, lawmakers of the so-called "Parallel National Assembly," and a member of the Judiciary continue to receive resources from USAID.

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