WILLEMSTAD – The United States has accused Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA of laundering $2 billion through offshore bank accounts, in the latest blow to the credibility of President Nicolas Maduro’s administration.
In a March 10 press release, the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) stated that a high-level manager at the Andorran bank Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA) created front companies and financial products to siphon off money from PDVSA. In total, the BPA processed $2 billion in PDVSA funds as part of the scheme, according to FinCEN.
Unidentified sources told El Nuevo Herald that the United States is investigating the possibility that PDVSA was used to launder money stemming from criminal activity such as drug trafficking and terrorism.
The accusations are part of a wider investigation into BPA, which FinCEN said has also laundered money for Russian and Chinese criminal organizations.