US to Confiscate Assets of Venezuelans Involved in PDVSA Corruption Scandal

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Oct 26, 2016, 12:36 am
The list of implicated parties include PDVSA executives, suspected of accepting bribes for signing inflated contracts (El Ají)
The list of implicated parties include PDVSA executives, suspected of accepting bribes for signing inflated contracts (El Ají)

EspañolUS federal prosecutors are prepared to bring charges against Venezuelans involved in corruption in state oil company PDVSA, and to seize property that would offset the money lost by the US in the scandal.

Three anonymous sources close to the case told Bloomberg that the US government has been investigating at least a dozen Venezuelans.

The former executives of PDVSA being investigated are suspected of having accepted bribes to award high-priced contracts to clients, which helped divert more than USD $11 million.

The US government has set its sights on a series of US assets, including about 20 residential properties, including in Houston and West Palm Beach. Prosecutors have reportedly been tracking the money flowing through financial institutions Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co.

Researchers are studying the relationships involving PDVSA and US companies such as Pratt & Whitney, General Electric Co., Rolls Royce Holdings Plc and ProEnergy Services, a company based in Missouri.

According to Bloomberg, those under investigation include government officials and prominent businessmen from Venezuela, as well as individuals involved in cocaine trafficking.

The DEA and the FBI are involved in the investigation, which has been underway for at least three years.

US officials have a strong legal interest in the case because alleged ill-gotten money passes through its banks and was used to buy property in the US. Other funds were transferred to offshore accounts in Panama.

According to sources, the US government would seize the property to create a fund that will eventually be returned to Venezuela after democratic elections.

On March 22, three former officials from Venezuela’s state oil company pleaded guilty to charges related to a bribery scheme involving illicit energy contracts. They were found guilty of money laundering.

The United States Department of Justice said that each of these officials accepted bribes from two Venezuelan businessmen, Roberto Rincon and Jose Abraham Shiera Bastidas. They were accused in December of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Source: Bloomberg

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

Mexico on Alert over Arrival of 50,000 Haitian Immigrants on Journey to U.S.

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Oct 25, 2016, 3:36 pm

EspañolNearly 50,000 Haitian immigrants have been stranded in Brazil, and in the coming months will pass through Mexico in order to reach the United States. President of Mexico's National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) Luis Raul Gonzalez said that the flow of Haitian immigrants to Mexico has become an issue over recent months as the increase has accelerated. "The flow of people has increased rapidly in transit to the United States," Gonzalez said at a news conference Monday. Read more: Haitian Woman Reveals Irregularities in Her Adoption, 30 Years Later Read more: Haitians Will Have to Wait More than a Week for Election Results In the state of Baja California that borders the United States, there are now 4,476 immigrants waiting to cross over. In Tijuana, there are 2,763. In Mexicali, there are 2,763. In March and April, the CNDH warned that the flow of immigrants was "minimal" but also that it has increased over recent months. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); The Human Rights organization has already given precautionary measures to the National Migration Institute (INM), the government of Baja California and the city of Tijuana. Warnings and preparation were also given to Ministries of the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Social Development and Health. Corzo explained the purpose of such preparations is only to take preventive measures, "to avoid facing a major problem." Source: Sin Embargo

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