Several public officials in Venezuela have been arrested for alleged acts of corruption, according to attorney general Tarek William Saab. Among the detainees are a deputy, a judge, and a manager of the state-owned oil company PDVSA. The national anti-corruption police have requested the Public Ministry to initiate a judicial prosecution against the officials who ‘could be involved in serious acts of corruption and embezzlement’. Saab appointed five prosecutors to handle the cases. The officials arrested are believed to be involved in ‘reprehensible criminal plots’.
Four of the detainees have been named, including Hugbel Roa, the deputy for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, Cristóbal Cornieles, president of the Caracas criminal circuit, Colonel Antonio Pérez Suárez, vice president of Commerce and Quality Supply at PDVSA, and Joselit Ramírez, National Superintendent of Cryptoactives of Venezuela (SUNACRIP). SUNACRIP is involved in the management of funds from the oil industry through operations with cryptocurrencies.
The Public Ministry stated that the investigations correspond to different branches and levels of public power and involve strategic sectors for national development and the administration of justice. Pedro Hernández, mayor of the Santos Michelena municipality, Aragua state, has also been reportedly arrested for his alleged links to mafias, according to local media. The arrests are part of Venezuela’s anti-corruption investigations, which have intensified in recent months.