Venezuela Moves To Arrest Numerous Oil Workers

(Energy Analytics Institute, Piero Stewart, 7.Mar.2020) — Venezuela’s government has arrested numerous oil sector workers for presumably providing confidential information to the US government as well as participating in fuel smuggling activities, according to state oil company PDVSA.

The arrested persons include the following:

On 28 February 2020, two managers from the Vice Presidency of Commerce and Supply were arrested for allegedly “delivering strategic, sensitive and confidential information to the US government,” PDVSA announced in an official statement.

The information included details of oil sector operations in different areas, sales and trading data, and data regarding PDVSA’s logistical capacity as well as that of its foreign partners.

On 3 March 2020, Oscar Rafael Aponte Landaeta, who was president of the subsidiary company Aceites y Solventes Venezolanos, SA (VASSA), was arrested for allegedly diverting strategic material such as lubricants and oils to other Venezuelan states which aim to export the goods to other countries. The official also is accused of “signing of fraudulent contracts for the acquisition of goods, supplies and services,” PDVSA said.

On 6 March 2020, Oswaldo Vargas, who was president of the subsidiary company PDV Marina was arrested as well as all the crew members from Negra Hipólita tanker due to their links to fuel smuggling operations, PDVSA said, adding the crew was using PDVSA “vessels for these criminal purposes.”

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