Oct 17, 2021
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Alex Saab, alleged financier for Venezuela’s president, is extradited to the US and due in courtroom Monday

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Colombian businessman Alex Saab is anticipated to make his preliminary courtroom look at 1 p.m. ET earlier than US Justice of the Peace Decide John J. O’Sullivan of the US District Court docket for the Southern District of Florida, DOJ spokesperson Nicole Navas Oxman mentioned in a press release Sunday.

The US alleges Saab was behind a corruption community involving a government-subsidized meals program known as CLAP that allowed Maduro and his allies to steal tons of of tens of millions of {dollars} from the Venezuelan folks whereas additionally utilizing meals as a type of social management.
“Somewhat than make sure that this susceptible inhabitants receives the meals it desperately wants, the regime makes use of the CLAP program as a political software to reward assist and punish political criticism,” the US Treasury Department said in 2019.

“By providing meals by means of this program, the previous regime is ready to keep its affect as a result of many Venezuelan residents don’t have sufficient cash to purchase meals and due to this fact rely upon the rations CLAP supplies to outlive.”

The Treasury Division additionally accused Saab of personally profiting from overvalued contracts.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Saab had been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department and had been sought by the DOJ’s Southern District of Florida over cash laundering costs.

As a consequence of his indictment within the US, an Interpol pink discover was issued. In June 2020, Saab was detained whereas touring from Venezuela to Iran when his jet stopped to refuel in Cape Verde, an African island nation.

Earlier this 12 months, Saab told CNN he feared he would be treated inhumanely if he have been extradited to the US.

He was extradited on Saturday, and the DOJ mentioned Saab’s extradition was “carried out in full compliance with all related Cabo Verdean legal guidelines and courtroom rulings.”

Alex Saab said he feared being extradited to the US

“The U.S. Division of Justice expresses our gratitude to the Authorities of Cabo Verde for its help and perseverance with this complicated case and admiration for the professionalism of Cabo Verde’s judicial system,” the DOJ assertion mentioned.

However Saab’s lawyer alleged in a video assertion Saturday that Saab had been “kidnapped” by the USA and that his extradition “violated” the foundations of Cape Verde’s inner legislation and the worldwide legislation.

Hours after Saab’s extradition, 5 US residents and a everlasting resident referred to as the “CITGO 6” who had been detained in Venezuela have been picked up by the nation’s intelligence service — apparently in retaliation for Saab’s extradition.
'CITGO 6' oil execs held in Venezuela were picked up by forces after Alex Saab's extradition

The CITGO 6 consists of former executives of CITGO Petroleum Company — José Ángel Pereira, Gustavo Cárdenas, Jorge Toledo, José Luis Zambrano, Tomeu Vadell and Alirio José Zambrano.

They have been arrested in Caracas in 2017 on embezzlement costs and had been underneath home arrest since Might. They’ve denied the costs.

After being picked up by the Venezuelan intelligence service SEBIN, the boys have been taken to Helicoide jail in Caracas, legal professionals Jesús Loretto and María Alejandra Poleo informed CNN on Sunday.

The US State Division denounced the imprisonment of “six wrongfully detained People in Venezuela.”

“These six People and their households have suffered lengthy sufficient,” the State Division mentioned in a press release Sunday. “America continues to name for his or her quick launch and return to the USA.”

Akanksha Sharma and Isa Soares contributed to this report.

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