Ecuador’s Attorney’s Office investigates Saab’s business, accused of being considered the head of Maduro – International

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The Ecuadorian Attorney’s Office is investigating the business of Colombian businessman Alex Saab, the alleged front man for Nicolas Maduro, who allegedly involved former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa (2007-2017), Sunday (2) and Congressman Fernando Villavicencio. he said.

AFP, the congressman said, said the accusing body “opened a previous investigation into the crime of embezzlement and other related crimes, mainly involving Rafael Correa and high officials in his government.”

Villavicencio, a journalist opposed to Correa, during the government of which he considered himself politically persecuted, provided a copy of the notification from the Attorney General’s office to the National Assembly. The document highlights the opening of an investigation “for the alleged offense of embezzlement”, giving way to the recommendation of a parliamentary oversight committee headed by the deputy.

According to this commission, Saab took advantage of the Single Regional Compensation System (Sucre) adopted in 2009 by the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) to replace the dollar.

Alba is currently formed by Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Ecuador left the bloc in 2018 and Bolivia a year later.

Together with its Colombian company Fundo Global de Construez, with a branch in Ecuador, Saab “negotiated US$350 million for the export of prefabricated houses to Venezuela”, in a similar operation previously carried out in Colombia, all late. From during the government of Hugo Chávez, Villavicencio explained.

Caracas paid in bolvars and the Saab branch in Ecuador received it in dollars through the Ecuadorian Central Bank through the sucre system.

“Not a single port was exported from Colombia and Ecuador lacks such houses”, declared Villavicencio, adding that “these were illegal, fictitious and excessive operations”.

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Congressmen believed that Korea was the “direct author of this mechanism”, referring to Sucre, part of the irregularities.

The former socialist ruler settled in Belgium shortly after completing his term in May 2017, and justice in Ecuador sentenced him, along with several of his former associates, to eight years in prison for receiving bribes in exchange for contracts with various companies. Heard.

Saab was detained during a stopover in Cape Verde in June 2020 and extradited last October at the request of US justice, which believes him to be an alleged Maduro front man.

It alleges that between 2011 and 2015 it used the US financial system to curtail its illicit profits, transferring US$350 million from Venezuela through accounts in the United States and other countries.

Already extradited, Saab pleaded not guilty. His trial is expected to be held in Miami for the time being.

About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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