International review Investigation

Venezuela Detains 19 Businessmen, Officials for Corruption

El ombudsman de Venezuela Tarek William Saab en conferencia de prensa en Caracas el 3 de abril del 2017. Source: AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File.

This material belongs to: teleSUR.

“Those involved in organized crime…. cannot guise themselves as persecuted politicians,” Venezuela’s Attorney General said.

Venezuelan authorities have arrested 19 people for alleged involvement in corruption and embezzlement within the country’s oil industry, Attorney General Tarek William Saab said while speaking to VTV.

Several of the suspects were attempting to flee the country on a private flight on Wednesday, however they were found and detained by authorities to face prosecution and trial.

Among the arrested are private businessmen and state officials, who are suspected of breaches of agreements, acts of sabotage, security irregularities, and premeditated maintenance delays, Saab said.

Saab said that the 19 new cases are added to other corruption cases being investigated by the government, involving Brazilian company Odebrecht, Venezuelan company Petrocedeño, and individuals linked to illegal currency exchanging.

Speaking to VTV, the Attorney General also said that Venezuela currently has arrest warrants for several prominent businessmen linked to major corruption cases who are protected by the United States government.

“For those cases we have reached out to Interpol… We believe that those involved in organized crime, which has caused serious damage to Venezuela, cannot guise themselves as persecuted politicians,” he said.