Venezuela: Tareck El Aissami, Minister of Oil, resigned

He Venezuelan Minister of Petroleum, Tareck El-Aissamiresigned from his position on Monday after a new icorruption investigation that implies the state Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)for which a former manager was already arrested.

“By virtue of the investigations that have been initiated into serious acts of corruption in PDVSA, I have made the decision to present my resignation as Minister of Petroleum, with the purpose of fully supporting, accompanying and backing this process,” El Aissami said in a statement. message on Twitter.

El Aissami, in office since April 2020, also announced his support for a new government “crusade” against corruption, which has spread to the judiciary and parliamentarians.

El Aissami resigned after this weekend it was revealed in several local media that the Public Ministry and the National Anti-Corruption Police began an operation last Friday as a result of having detected various acts of corruption, including a fraud of PDVSA for 3,000 million Dollars.

The National Anti-Corruption Police detained two men linked to El Aissami on Sunday: PDVSA’s Vice President of Commerce and Quality Supply, Colonel Antonio Pérez Suárez, and Joselit Ramírez, the National Superintendent of Crypto Assets of Venezuela (SUNACRIP), which manages the funds from the oil industry through cryptocurrencies.

The arrest occurred after the police force began an investigation against senior officials “who could be involved in serious acts of corruption and embezzlement”, for which they were also arrested. Deputy Hugbel Roa; lawyer Cristóbal Cornieles, president of the criminal circuit of Caracas; an anti-terrorism judge; and a mayor.

Venezuela’s oil industry has been the target of other corruption investigations, which ended with the arrests of dozens of PDVSA employees and two oil ministers, Eulogio Del Pino and Nelson Martínez, who died in state custody. Rafael Ramírez, who was the head of Oil between 2002 and 2014 and is a fugitive abroad, is also accused of embezzlement.

Until now, El Aissami was one of the most important figures in the government of Nicolás Maduro, in which he served as sector vice president of Economy since 2017 and minister of Oil since 2020, after having been head of Industry (2018-21) and executive vice president. of the government (2017-18).

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