Venezuela’s attorney general, Tarek William Saab, said this Thursday that the opponents Leopoldo López and Julio Borges -both exiles- received benefits of more than a billion dollars through contractors linked to the ‘Pdvsa-Cripto’ corruption scheme, whose investigation, which began in March 2023, revealed the involvement of Former Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami, now in prison.

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At a press conference, Saab showed a video in which businessman Samark López, also detained and accused of being a ‘front man’ for El Aissami, says that, from 2020 to 2022, “the leadership of PDVSA and part of its board of directors” continued to allocate oil through “contractors who were hidden behind Spanish companies”, whose names he did not reveal.

The businessman pointed out that “They are, at least, two Venezuelan contractors who have a close connection with the Primero Justicia (PJ) and Voluntad Popular (VP) parties”, to which Borges and López belong, respectively.

Samark López added, in his confession, that “part of the profits obtained by Venezuelan trade They paid commissions that were distributed to finance political and proselytizing activities”.

How did the ‘Pdvsa-Cripto’ plot work according to prosecutor Tarek William Saab?

Saab explained that, in the ‘Pdvsa-Cripto’ plot, they managed to dismantle “a network of officials who assigned loads of crude oil, hitchhiking, to individuals and the National Superintendency of Cryptoactives without any type of administrative control or guarantees, failing to comply with PDVSA’s contracting regulations”.

“These products were sold below market value for them to obtain greater profits (…) the corresponding payments did not enter PDVSA, nor the Central Bank of Venezuela, but rather were distributed in an arbitrary and criminal manner among those involved (…)”, detailed the Prosecutor.

The official added that “Commissions were charged throughout the process marketing and handouts were requested to guarantee access to contracts. Stolen public funds were used for financial and real estate speculation”.

On April 29, Saab also related the opponents Carlos Vecchio and Carlos Ocariz as part of the “political conspiracy” linked to the ‘Pdvsa-Cripto’ plot in connivance with the United States and El Aissami, whose purpose was “to dissolve the State by any undemocratic way, impose and continue with sanctions”.

Furthermore, he assured that this plot had the objective of “imploding” the economy, “destroy” the national currency -the bolivar- “pressing upward the value of the parallel dollar (at an exchange rate above the official one)” and “make the economic policies promoted by the Executive fail.”

Saab requested “new arrest warrant for this incident” for López and Borges and “a new extradition request”, since both are in exile.

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