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Venezuela investigates “megafraud” for USD 4,850 million in state-owned PDVSA

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The Venezuelan government denounced this Tuesday a “megafraud” for 4,850 million dollars in the state oil company PDVSA, for which it blames former minister Rafael Ramírez, close to the late president Hugo Chávez and who broke with his successor, Nicolás Maduro.

According to the complaint filed with the Public Ministry by the Oil Minister, Tareck El Aissami, PDVSA made several transfers for a total of 4,850 million dollars for a loan contracted in February 2012 with the private company Atlantic 17,107 A.C.

But according to the chief, the state company “never” received the loan money.

Instead, Atlantic ceded that line of credit to foreign “funds” Violet and Vuelca, based in Panama and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, respectively. And these new “creditors” of PDVSA received the payments of a credit that did not materialize, always according to the government.

The minister said he had delivered as evidence to the attorney general, Tarek William Saab, “certified copies” of the payment receipts, a total of 28 transfers, to Violet and Vuelca.

The official defined the maneuver as a “mega fraud.”

El Aissami said that the plot was “orchestrated” by Rafael Ramírez, the target of corruption investigations since 2017, in a judicial offensive that has since brought about a hundred arrests of former directors of the state company.

The Prosecutor’s Office reported in February 2021 that it issued an Interpol red alert for Ramírez to be captured in Italy, where he was, but that country denied the possibility of extradition in September, according to his lawyer.

The former official posted on Twitter, before El Aissami’s statement, that the government was preparing a “pot” (setup) against him.

Former president of PDVSA (2004-2014) and former Minister of Petroleum (2002-2014), Ramírez was one of Chávez’s trusted men (1999-2014), but he broke with his successor, Maduro, at the end of 2017, then resigning from the position. Ambassador of Venezuela to the UN.

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