Head of Venezuelan Cryptocurrency Authority Arrested

Head of Venezuelan Cryptocurrency Authority Arrested

According to reports from local media, Joselit Ramirez, the head of Sunacrip, the Venezuelan cryptocurrency authority, was arrested on March 18 on corruption charges. The allegations suggest that Ramirez was involved in embezzlement of $3 billion related to unregistered oil sales.

The Venezuelan government has launched a national special operation against corruption, resulting in the capture of more high-profile individuals, including Cristobal Cornielles and Pedro Hernandez.

Sales of Venezuelan oil paid with cryptocurrency have been detected before by the US government. Two oil brokers were charged in October for brokering illicit oil deals for PDVSA, the state oil company, using cryptocurrencies and shell companies to avoid detection.

Ramirez was also charged in March 2020, along with other Venezuelan government officials, by the US Department of Justice on narco-terrorism and corruption charges.

As a result of Ramirez’s arrest, President Maduro has signed an executive order for the restructuring of Sunacrip and the removal of Ramirez. The measure will be executed by a restructuring commission, which will examine the current status of the institution and propose changes to the rules and procedures.

The commission will be presided over by Anabel Pereira Fernández and three main directors: Hector Obregon, Luis Perez, and Julio Mora. Another three substitute directors have also been designated.

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