International review Investigation

Venezuela’s Attorney General Details Orinoco Oil Corruption Scheme

BOG201. BOGOTÁ (COLOMBIA), 13/05/2015.- El defensor del pueblo de Venezuela, Tarek William Saab, durante una rueda de prensa en el marco de la Primera Cumbre Iberoamericana sobre Derechos Humanos, Migrantes y Trata de Personas hoy, miércoles 13 de mayo de 2015, en Bogotá (Colombia). Source: EFE/LEONARDO MUÑOZ.

This material belongs to: teleSUR.

Saab accused his predecessor Luisa Ortega Diaz of ignoring both this case and of “inconsistencies” in the Odebrecht investigation.

The Venezuelan Attorney General has been giving details of a corrupt production scheme in the Orinoco Oil Belt.

Tarek William Saab told the National Constituent Assembly that US$200 million dollars had been embezzled between 2010 and 2017.

He has previously described the corruption as an organized crime syndicate.

41,000 contracts were awarded to joint ventures in the area.

And 10 of them had been involved in the overpricing fraud.

The executive director of the oil belt has been arrested.

While eight oil executives from the state owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, have been accused of corruption.

The former vice director of production in the western region is on the run.

Saab accused his predecessor Luisa Ortega Diaz of ignoring both this case and of “inconsistencies” in the Odebrecht investigation.

The Brazilian construction company is involved in the largest corruption case in history.

Last December, the US Department of Justice and the firm reached a record-setting settlement totaling US$2.6 billion in fines.

Odebrecht had spent hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to secure public works contracts in twelve different countries across three continents.

Saab said Venezuela’s investigation has been reopened because the previous file consisted of only nine pages.

“The former general is responsible for having shelved cases that directly affect Venezuelans (…) Hundreds of millions of dollars have been embezzled from the nation,” he said.

Saab said he has met representatives of the company in the country and they have agreed to collaborate with the investigation.

He also referred to cases of companies which received currency from Cadivi and Cencoex, which are being examined for overpricing.

“Part of the nation’s fiscal woes are due to cases of corruption in Cadivi, Cencoex, and the Orinoco Oil Belt, which were overlapped by the previous administration, with cases of companies that placed a premium over 20 thousand percent on products, ” the Attorney General said.