MH | If you have dirty money from Venezuela, Doral doesn’t want you to open a business

Opinion Antonio Maria Delgado | Miami Herald

The mayor of Doral, Juan Carlos Bermudez, says he welcomes the Venezuelan community but not the money linked to the corruption of the Nicolás Maduro regime. AL DIAZ

Concerned by reports that corrupt Venezuelan money is flooding into South Florida, Doral city officials have approved an ordinance that requires everyone starting a business there to sign a sworn declaration about the source of the funds.

The new regulation would affect dirty money from any country, but Mayor Juan Carlos Bermúdez said it was sparked by the many complaints from Venezuelan residents about supporters of the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro who are starting new lives in Doral.

“Many of my Venezuelan friends have been asking me, ‘Mayor, what can we do?’ … because many of the people who have been stealing the wealth of the Venezuelan people are now coming here and opening some of their businesses in Doral,” Bermúdez said.

“Just last night, we approved an ordinance that requires an affidavit when someone applies for a city license to open a business, and now they have to tell the city the identities of the owners of the business, and who’s behind the money,” he added.

Every person applying for a business license in Doral would be required to file the affadavit, which would help determine whether the money comes from one of the top leaders in Venezuela.

Several top government officials in Caracas have already been sanctioned by the U.S. government because of allegations ranging from the destruction of Venezuelan democracy and human rights violations to corruption and drug trafficking.

U.S. officials allege that billions of dollars have been looted from the Venezuelan government over the two decades that Chavismo — the policies of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as well as Maduro — has ruled the South American country.

Part of that dirty money has been invested in South Florida, angering many of the tens of thousands of the regime’s opponents now living in the region, many of them in Doral.

Bermudez acknowledged the new ordinance has a limited ability to stop Chavistas from opening businesses in Doral because the principal responsibility for prosecuting money laundering falls to the U.S. federal agencies.

But he added that it will force a possible front man to chose between lying on the affidavit or starting the business elsewhere. Lying in a sworn affidavit is considered perjury, a crime.

Bron: Miami Herald

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