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Official: U.S. Believes Ex-Venezuela Oil Czar Took Bribes

Posted/updated on: February 14, 2018 at 10:30 am
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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – U.S. prosecutors believe Venezuela’s former oil czar and ambassador to the United Nations received bribes as part of an alleged multibillion-dollar graft scheme in that nation’s oil industry, according to an official familiar with the U.S. investigation. Rafael Ramirez is named as a bribe recipient although not charged in an indictment against other former officials that was partially unsealed Monday. Prosecutors in Houston leading a widening probe into corruption at Venezuela’s state-run oil giant PDVSA allege in the unsealed portion of the indictment that proceeds from bribes were shared with someone identified as “Official B.” That unidentified politician is Ramirez, says a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the matter. Ramirez in the past has denied corruption allegations.


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