Former Venezuelan minister accused of ‘mega-fraud’ of R$25 billion compares himself to Lula – News

Appointed by the Venezuelan government as the leader of a scheme that embezzled more than 4.85 billion dollars (about R$ 25 billion), former minister and former president of oil company PDVSA Rafael Ramírez compared himself to former president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva on social media. Ramírez said he was being pursued by Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela.

The former minister, accused of “mega-fraud”, defended himself against the accusations on Twitter, in a sequence of posts in which he says he is innocent and that he has been attacked in response to his candidacy for president. “Madurism tries to do to me what the right did to Lula: the same script, the same arguments, but none of that will stop us! This strategy is called ‘lawfare’ and is used for political persecution in our region,” he wrote. .

understand the case

At the end of August, Rafael Ramírez was denounced by Tareck El Aissami, Minister of Petroleum, for the alleged “megafraud”. Ramírez was one of the great allies of former Venezuelan President Hugo Cháves, but is currently a rival to Nicolás Maduro.

According to Tareck, during Ramírez’s administration, PDVSA made several transfers of values ​​to the Atlantic administrator. In the investigations, Ramírez justified the transactions as installments of a loan that had been contracted in February 2012. However, the oil company PDVSA would not have received any of this allegedly contracted credit.

Also according to the current Minister of Petroleum, the money provided by Atlantic was destined for Violet and Vuelca funds, based in Panama and in San Vicente and the Grenadines, countries known as tax havens.

Since the beginning of the investigations, several former directors of the state-owned company have been arrested for corruption schemes, including the former president of Finance at PDVSA, Víctor Aular, who was arrested on August 30. Aular is appointed as the person responsible for signing the loan agreement with Atlantic.

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