The United Kingdom announced, on Thursday, the imposition of sanctions on five people for corruption, including the Colombian Alex Saab, who is classified as a front man for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and who has been detained in Cape Verde since June 12, 2020.
This came in the words of British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who said through a statement that the five people were involved in corruption cases in Iraq, Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe “to deprive developing countries of vital resources.”
Those subject to sanctions in the UK will have their assets frozen and banned from entering the country.
The statement noted that both SABB and its partner Alvaro Pulido Vargas took advantage of “two public programs launched in Venezuela to provide poor Venezuelans with affordable food and housing.”
Both took advantage of improperly awarded contracts, according to which the promised goods were delivered at extremely inflated prices. And his actions caused more suffering to Venezuelans who were already in poverty, for their own enrichment.
Washington accuses Saab of money laundering and of being a potential front for Nicolás Maduro’s government in Venezuela.
See also: Venezuela rejects Colombian accusations of alleged attack on President Ivan Duque
The Venezuelan government had indicated last December that Saab was a special envoy whose tasks are to facilitate the purchase of medicines, food and other goods in the face of the “criminal blockade” imposed by the United States.
In addition to Saab and Pulido, the British government sanctioned the former Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodorin Obiang, “for his involvement in the embezzlement of state funds in his personal bank accounts, corrupt employment agreements, and soliciting bribes to fund a lavish lifestyle that is inconsistent with his official salary as a government minister”.
“Today’s action is aimed at people who have lined up in their pockets at the expense of their own citizens,” Raab said.
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