Monday 14 June 2021

Venezuela Pushes Forward in Corruption Purge, Arrests 11 Bankers

Venezuelan authorities arrested 11 high-ranking bankers from the country’s biggest private financial institution, Banesco, and would “intervene in the institution”for 90 days in an effort to stamp out illegal banking practices.

Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab made the announcement in a TV broadcast Thursday, saying that a “surgical” investigation revealed irregularities that had devalued the country’s currency.

- Advertisement -

The takeover of Banesco will see a deputy finance minister placed at the helm of the bank after the bank’s executive president, Oscar Doval Garcia, and 10 others were arrested.

Venezuelan investigators said that a large number of suspicious Banesco accounts were linked to addresses in Panama, a country made notorious for being a good place to hide dark money with the release of the Panama Papers in 2016, and Colombia.

Banesco International’s president, Juan Carlos Escotet, a Venezuelan citizen who was in Portugal when the arrest happened, said he was planning to return to Venezuela immediately. “I will go to Venezuela with peace of mind to support my colleagues,” he tweeted Thursday.

- Advertisement -

“To the clients of BANESCO, I suggest you continue with BANESCO since under my ownership or not, it will always be the best guarantor of customer deposits,” Escotet said in another tweet. And in another, he cautioned “The administrative intervention of Banesco will have a duration of 90 days. It is not a process of nationalization, therefore, the shareholders of Banesco maintain the property of the bank.”

Critics of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his populist social democratic policies claim that government corruption and mismanagement are at the heart of the country’s economic crisis. The government maintains that the country’s wealthy class is sabotaging their socialist policies through economic warfare and by refusing to manufacture certain essential goods in an effort to stoke internal resentment against them, as well as hoarding wealth elsewhere.

The country’s financial abuse crackdown came in response to accusations that an international network of financers was manipulating the black market exchange rate to the extent that it values the US dollar at a rate 10 times higher than the country’s official exchange rate. So far, 134 arrests have been made and 1,380 bank accounts, mostly with Banesco, have been frozen.

The arrest of the bankers comes amid an anti-corruption purge in the country and follows the arrest of two Chevron employees in late April. “The decisions of the prosecutor’s office are based on serious investigations to fight corruption… These two people involved have the right to defense and due process,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said in a April 25 televised address.

Prior to the Chevron arrests, which the company responded to by evacuating its executives from the country, the attorney general had 80 executives and business partners of PDVSA, the country’s state-owned oil company, arrested for graft. “Criminal [PDVSA] administrators colluded with criminal businesspeople to embezzle from the nation,” Saab said during a March 20 press conference.

- Advertisement -

Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

Long lines and confusion as Venezuela begins COVID-19 vaccination

Q24N (Reuters) Hundreds of senior citizens and health workers stood in...

Bolsonaro compares quarantines to Maduro’s dictatorship

Q24N - Brasilia (EFE) The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, said...


Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 10, “ODDS”

Today, Thursday, June 10, only ODDS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...

Simple to request certification of vaccines against covid-19 applied in Costa Rica and abroad

QCOSTARICA - The Ministry of Health issued a new guideline on Thursday that establishes the requirements to request the vaccination certificate against covid-19 in...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 9, “EVENS”

Today, Wednesday, June 9, only EVENS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...

Tourism sector feels in crisis despite increase in international arrivals

QCOSTARICA - Despite the improvement in tourist arrivals reported in May, with more than 72,000 visitors, both the Cámara Nacional de Turismo (Canatur) and...

The US sanctions Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega’s daughter and close associates

TODAY NICARAGUA – The United States imposed economic sanctions on four Nicaraguan officials close to President Daniel Ortega on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, including...

Plate rupture has potential for stronger quakes

QCOSTARICA - The 5.7-magnitude tremor, felt at 5:27 pmon Thursday, occurred in a maritime zone with the potential for stronger earthquakes, explained Ivonne Arroyo,...

Today’s Covid News: Contagion rate in Costa Rica remains unchanged in the last week

QCOSTARICA - The contagion rate of covid-19 in Costa Rica in the last week did not change, a fact that is seen for the...

Tourism’s path to recovery

QREPORTS - A new travel trends research paper released today by Tripadvisor®, the world's largest travel guidance platform, reveals that vaccine rollouts globally are...

Direct flight will connect Guanacaste with Austin starting in November

QCOSTARICA - American Airlines announced that starting November 2, 2021, it will offer a direct flight between Austin, Texas and the Daniel Oduber International...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.