Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Venezuelan Oil Ministry Official Charged with Corruption


CARACAS – The general director for domestic markets at the Venezuelan Petroleum and Mining Ministry was arrested for alleged corruption, the Attorney General’s Office in this capital announced Tuesday.

Nubia Parada Mendoza was indicted for embezzlement and criminal conspiracy and is being held at the headquarters of the Sebin intelligence service.

“According to the preliminary investigation, officials with the National Anti-Corruption Police received a complaint from the ministry’s loss prevention and control ... division” after observing irregularities in the authorizations and handling of gasoline and diesel fuel, the AG’s office said in a statement

“The officials launched the investigation and managed to determine the link between the woman and the alleged irregularities,” the statement continued.

On Monday, the AG’s office reported that Jose Luis Parada, an executive of state oil company PDVSA, had been arrested for administrative irregularities.

Venezuelan gasoline, the cheapest in the world, is one of the products that is most often sold on the illegal market along the country’s borders, particularly with Colombia, and – according to figures provided by Caracas at the end of last year, some 100,000 barrels of fuel are smuggled out of the country every day.

Meanwhile, whereas in Colombia a gallon (3.8 liters) of gasoline costs $4.30, in oil-rich Venezuela it goes for just 7 cents.

President Nicolas Maduro said on Jan. 22 that the time had come to adjust the domestic price of gasoline. 


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