The governments of Colombia and the United States have announced the creation of a “strategic working group” that will seek to fight the spillover of Venezuelan corruption onto regional and world financial institutions. The announcement came via Colombian Minister of Finance Mauricio Cardenas, who said:
We will continue to track the resources that corruption has taken from Venezuelan citizens.
Cardenas also explained that the working group will be headed by a Colombian organization called the Unidad de Informacion y Analisis Financiero [Financial Information and Analysis Unit] (UIAF).
Juan Francisco Espinosa, the director of the UIAF, the first working group meeting will take place in May, during which the group will look for ways to accomplish “immediate results”.
Venezuela’s unprecedented economic collapse over the past several years is due in large part to rampant, unchecked corruption at the ruling PSUV party.
According to figures from the National Assembly, at least $11 billion were stolen from the state-owned PDVSA oil firm by top ranking government officials between 2004 and 2017.
Just two days ago, a group of 16 nations–including the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain and France–announced an agreement to track and locate stolen Venezuelan state funds hidden in financial institutions around the world, with the goal of eventually returning the money to the country in a post-dictatorship scenario.
Trinidad and Tobago Deports 82 Venezuelan Migrants
The government of Trinidad and Tobago deported 82 Venezuelans from the island nation today, after they were found to have migrated there illegally. The deported individuals are part of a group of approximately 100 Venezuelans who recently arrived on the island.
According to the Associated Press, at least 13 of the deported individuals had request asylum on the island, a claim which the authorities allegedly ignored. Julio Henriquez of the Foro Penal Venezolano [Venezuelan Penal Forum] told the AP that the claimants were denied a lawyer at the time that they made the asylum claim, and were instead immediately processed for deportation.
The deported individuals were flown back to Venezuela yesterday aboard an air force transport aircraft that was dispatched to the island for the purpose of picking them up.
The fate of the approximately 20 Venezuelans who remain in detention in Trinidad in Tobago is not clear.
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