Colombian businessman close to Venezuela's Maduro arrested

(Reuters) - Authorities in Cape Verde have arrested Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman close to socialist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro who was charged by the United States with alleged money laundering, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Saturday. Department of Justice spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman said in a statement that Saab was arrested pursuant to an Interpol red notice issued with respect to his U.S.

Reuters June 14, 2020 00:05:34 IST
Colombian businessman close to Venezuela's Maduro arrested

Colombian businessman close to Venezuelas Maduro arrested

(Reuters) - Authorities in Cape Verde have arrested Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman close to socialist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro who was charged by the United States with alleged money laundering, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Saturday.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman said in a statement that Saab was arrested pursuant to an Interpol red notice issued with respect to his U.S. indictment, without providing further details.

Maria Dominguez, Saab's U.S.-based attorney, confirmed his arrest but also declined to provide further details about his arrest in the archipelago nation off the coast of western Africa.

In July 2019, U.S. prosecutors charged Saab and another Colombian businessman with money laundering related to a 2011-2015 scheme to pay bribes to take advantage of Venezuela's government-set exchange rate.

The U.S. Treasury Department has also imposed sanctions on Saab for allegedly orchestrating a vast corruption network for food imports and distribution in Venezuela and profiting from overvalued contracts, including the food subsidy program.

U.S. officials said the food program lined the pockets of Maduro, who has overseen a six-year economic collapse of the once-prosperous OPEC nation and stands accused of corruption and human rights violations.

Venezuela's information ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The arrest came after the Colombian attorney general's office last Tuesday said it had frozen assets belonging to Saab in the country worth some 35 billion Colombian pesos ($9.28 million), adding that Saab was under investigation for crimes including money laundering.

($1 = 3,773.0000 Colombian pesos)

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; additional reporting by Brad Heath in Washington; editing by Diane Craft)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.