Five keys to understanding the capture of Alex Saab, the alleged financier of Nicolás Maduro

Three days after the seized of his properties in Colombia, the businessman, Alex Nain Saab Moran, gets arrested in Cape Verde. He is a keyman in allegedly business linked to the illegal sale of gold and the import of subsidized food with overpricing under the shadow of Nicolas Maduro.

Colombian-Lebanese businessman Alex Saab was linked to the Panama Papers case, as he used a Panamanian law firm to register numerous companies, including Group Grand Limited, known for the scandal surrounding the supply of food to the Clap program. Photo by @maibortpetit.

The Colombian businessman, Alex Saab, accused by the United States justice of being the financier of Nicolas Maduro government, gets arrested on Friday, June, 12 in Cape Verde, Africa.

His detention was only three days after the seized of his properties in Colombia. Saab is identified as a keyman in allegedly business linked to the illegal sales of gold, and the import of subsidized food with overpricing, under the shadow of Nicolas Maduro government. 

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Here, there are five keys to understanding the arresting of Saab.

1. On June 9, the Colombian Attorney General seized his properties that would be part of his illicit heritage that he made through irregulars financial operations. It’s about seven properties and lots, located in exclusive zones in Barranquilla, northern Colombia, whose value would exceed 9,5 million dollars, according to the Colombian newspaper, El Tiempo.

2. Saab is also accused of helping Maduro’s regime to exchange gold for gasoline with Iran, as revealed by the Bloomberg agency on May 8. The man traveled to Teheran with high executives from PDVSA the last April, as part of an agreement in which Iran sends to Venezuela additives, pieces, and gasoline technicians in exchange for gold. 

3. On July 25, 2019, the U.S. State Department sanctioned Alex Saab as well as the businessmen Alvaro Pulido and Enmanuel Rubio for being linked to the corruption scheme of importing food for the boxes of the Local Committee for Production and Supply, Clap.

4. Saab defending himself against accusations of laundering assets and managing the money of Nicolas Maduro and his family, and denounced those sanctions from the U.S. are part of a persecution plan to suffocate the Nicolas Maduro government.  

“My rejection is emphatic in the face of this persecution. The only goal from the United States is to suffocate the Venezuelan government, and they believe that by running over businessmen, they will achieve their goal,” he declared, in exclusive, to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

5. In July 2019, the United States including Saab in the Clint List and accused him of money laundering. Also were including his companies and another ten persons, among them, his sons Shadi and Isham Saab Certain, his partners Alvaro Pulido and Enmanuel Rubio, and Walter, Yosser, and Yoswal Gavidia Flores, sons of the Venezuelan first lady, Cilia Flores.

They were all pointed out to participate in a money-laundering scheme of millions of dollars, resulting from the corruption of the state-run program, Clap.

Likewise, federal prosecutors in Miami accused him and a business partner of money laundering related to an alleged bribe scheme to develop low-cost housing for the Nicolas Maduro government, houses that never built.

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