Venezuela probes ex-oil czar Ramirez over alleged graft scheme

30 Dec 2017   Venezuela

Venezuela is investigating Rafael Ramirez, a once powerful oil minister and former head of state oil company PDVSA, in connection with an alleged $4.8 billion Vienna-based corruption scheme, the state prosecutor’s office announced on Friday. Prosecutor Tarek Saab said Ramirez and at least four other oil executives from the South American OPEC nation sold crude oil at below market prices in exchange for bribes. Ramirez, who led PDVSA for a decade, told Reuters the allegation was a “blatant lie.” Venezuelan authorities had warned earlier this month that they planned to launch a criminal investigation of the former oil czar, in an escalation of a corruption purge that has resulted in the arrest of dozens of senior oil executives. ”(Ramirez) appears as the main intellectual author of what happened,” said Saab, inviting Ramirez to Venezuela to defend himself. Venezuela ordered the removal of Ramirez from his post […]

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