The US Department of Justice is charging Alex Saab with eight financial crimes, including seven counts of money laundering and one of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The information was reported this Monday by Expresso Das Ilhas, a media outlet in Cape Verde, the African island nation where the Colombian businessman is in jail since June.
The information comes from a document revealed by the United States Embassy in Praia, the capital of Cape Verde, along with a police report.
Saab, the alleged frontman of Nicolas Maduro, stands accused by the US of money laundering, and now, authorities there are seizing more than $362 million, money that passed through the US financial system.
Saab was practically unknown in Colombia, or anywhere else, until 2011. That year, he appeared on live television, signing a housing project with the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. After his initial involvement in Mision Vivienda, Saab became involved in an even larger deal: the CLAP subsidized foodstuffs scheme, which the US has also denounced as corrupt. The Colombian businessman also involved in the construction of vertical gyms all over Venezuela, most of which never finished.
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The document also reveals that the citizen was charged in 2019, “for his alleged role in laundering income for violations of the Law Against the Practice of Corruption Abroad along with a bribe payment scheme to take advantage of the exchange rate controlled by the Venezuelan government.”
Between November 2011 and at least until September 2015, Alex Saab conspired with Alvaro Pulido Vargas and third parties to launder money, obtained from a scheme of illegal bribes, from accounts in Venezuela to the United States.
A legal battle is currently taking place in Cape Verde between the United States, which is demanding the extradition of Saab, where he will be in a trial, and the defense of the businessman, which argues that the man was, unjustly, detained.
Information from Expresso Das Ilhas.