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The president of Venezuela lands on Panama's high risk money laundering list



PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, along with more than 50 Venezuelan citizens, is considered a "high-risk" for money laundering and terrorist financing, according to a recommendation from the Panamanian Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks at a meeting with ministers, alongside Venezuela's Vice President Tareck El Aissami, in Caracas, Venezuela March 26, 201
8. Miraflores Palace / Handout via REUTERS

Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab and Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena Also mentioned in the consultation together with the Socialist Party No. 2 Diosdado Cabello, the elder brother of the late President Hugo Chavez, and 16 companies in Venezuela.

The National commission against money laundering of the Ministry of economy and finance published the list on Thursday after her first announcement on Tuesday.

Maduro's socialist government has repeatedly vowed to fight the corruption that has plagued Venezuela and its oil industry for decades and contributed to its devastating economic collapse.

But critics say the government, despite pledges of arrest, is still crippled by financial impoverishment.

Millions of Venezuelans are suffering from food and drug shortages, and the currency has fallen 99.99 percent against the US dollar on the black market since Maduro took office in 2013.

Panama's Council calls for financial and non-financial entities The country should step up its efforts to avoid risks in transactions involving listed individuals and companies.

"It is recommended … that they use guidelines and procedures with great care," reads the document.

In Caracas, Maduro's government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The United States has charged Caracas with a wave of sanctions and other measures to force Maduro to change and is considering adding far-reaching oil sanctions aimed at the Venezuelan economy.

Elida Moreno's coverage in Panama City and Vivian Sequera in Caracas; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico City; Arrangement by Sandra Maler


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