Arrests climb to over 30 in PDVSA billion dollar oil scandal: 67 warrants issued – Venezuela AG 

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The PDVSA billion dollar oil scandal runs deep with the arrests now at 34, according to Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek Saab. Venezuelan authorities have also issued 67 arrest warrants, 30 of which are for public officials and financial operators directly linked to the scandal. 

“We are waging a hard and historic battle against the scourge of corruption,” Saab said during a news conference. “We have 34 people detained just in this case.” 

Those arrested are officials and financial operators, he said, adding the case includes people connected to the government’s crypto-currency entity.

The scandal forced Vnezuela’s Energy Minister Tareck El Assami to step down from his post, replaced with PDVSA former head Pedro Rafael Tellechea. Saab was asked by Reuters whether Assami would face charges but he declined to answer, noting that he was only addressing concerns with those in custody. 

Already, 19 persons have been taken to court

Charges of appropriation or distraction of public patrimony, money laundering and association, influence peddling, among other crimes were laid against them. 

Top PDVSA officials, officials from Venezuela’s National Superintendence of Crypto-assets (Sunacrip), judges and businessmen were included in the mix. 

According to Saab, Venezuela’s Public Prosection Office put in a “Deprivation of Liberty” request for all suspects. 

Treason charges will also be laid against several officers involved. 

Head of Venezuela’s Public Prosecution Office called it “one of the most shocking plots” in the country in years.

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