CARACAS (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department on Friday introduced a reward of up to $10 million for data main to the arrest or conviction of Colombian businessman Alvaro Pulido over cash laundering costs in reference to an alleged Venezuela bribery scheme.
The reward announcement got here a day after the U.S. Justice Department accused Pulido, 57, and 4 different folks, together with a politician from Venezuela’s ruling social gathering, of laundering the proceeds of a bribery scheme to acquire and retain inflated contracts via a Venezuelan state-run meals and drugs distribution program referred to as CLAP.
“Pulido and his co-conspirators allegedly marked-up the price of producing the bins of meals so as to make a private revenue from their manufacturing,” the reward stated.
It went on to say Pulido and 4 different conspirators then paid Venezuelan authorities officers bribes and kickbacks in alternate for their assist in securing the contract.
Pulido is a accomplice of fellow Colombian businessman Alex Saab, who’s shut to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and was extradited from Cape Verde to the United States on Oct. 16 to face cash laundering costs.
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The U.S. Treasury sanctioned Saab in 2019, accusing him of being a “profiteer” who enriched himself by skimming from contracts from the CLAP Venezuelan state-run meals distribution program.
Pulido was additionally sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2019 and indicted alongside Saab over an alleged money-laundering scheme.
Venezuela’s authorities has accused the United States of kidnapping Saab, whom they describe as a diplomatic envoy who was en route to Iran on the time of arrest to negotiate provides of gas and meals which were interrupted by U.S. sanctions. The opposition says Saab was one of many chief beneficiaries of the nation’s state controls.
(Reporting by Vivian Sequera and Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Sarah Kinosian; Editing by Sandra Maler)
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