Behind Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami’s Drug Trafficking Activities
EspañolIn Venezuela, few were surprised to learn that Vice President Tareck El Aissami and businessman Samark José López Bello were listed on the United States Department of Treasury’s list of drug trafficking collaborators to Mexico and the United States.
Lopez Bello, 39, is a prominent figure in the food and construction sector, but his name has been associated with an alleged link to under-the-table purchases with the old Capriles chain, which owns several print media outlets in Venezuela.
According to US officials, the Vice President is associated with at least a dozen companies that are allegedly part of an interntional drug trafficking network. Here are eight of the most notable:
1) Alfa One, C.A. (Venezuela).
2) Grupo Sahect, C.A. (Venezuela).
3) MFAA Holdings Limited (Virgin Islands).
4) Profit Corporation, C.A. (Venezuela).
5) Servicios Tecnológicos Industriales, C.A. (Venezuela).
6) SMT Tecnologia, C.A. (Venezuela).
7) Yakima Oil Trading, LLP (United Kingdom).
8) Yakima Trading Corporation (Panama)
López Bello’s companies offered their services to state-owned companies such as PDVSA, PDVSA Gas and Sidor, among others. Some state agencies, such as the Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information (Minci) and Corpoelec, are also reportedly involved.
Between 2009 and 2010, López Bello and his company Sahect were identified in a PDVAL case involving 720,000 tons of decomposed food. Investigations in Venezuela never reached conclusions against him.
Since February, Tareck’s alleged frontman has been the president of a Panamanian company whose main client is state oil company PDVSA.
The US Department of Treasury and the FBI opened an investigation that aims to link El Aissami to Hezbollah terrorism in an effort to make it public, according to media sources.
On February 8th, at least three dozen US lawmakers urged President Donald Trump to increase pressure on the Venezuelan government and issue sanctions against officials who have been responsible for acts of corruption and human rights violations.
Thirty-four lawmakers demanded a thorough investigation involving Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami for his alleged support of terrorist groups in the Middle East through the issuing of diplomatic passports.
An excerpt from the book Búmeran Chávez, written by ABC journalist Emili J. Blasco, asserted that “El Aissami was labeled by United States prosecutors as one of Chávez’s main links with Hezbollah.”
The Washington-based Center for a Secure and Free Society published a paper titled “Canada on Watch: Assessing the Threat of Iran, Venezuela and Cuba to Immigration Security” in 2014; the authors claimed Venezuela issued at least 173 Venezuelan passports to radical Islamists seeking to enter North America. They also claimed that for years, Iranian terrorists have been entering Venezuela with El Aissami’s direct assistance.