On 25th July, the US Treasury announced that OFAC had designated Colombian national Alex Nain Saab Moran, which it described as a profiteer orchestrating a vast corruption network that has enabled President Nicolás Maduro and his regime to significantly profit from food imports and distribution in Venezuela through the Local Committees for Supply and Production (Los Comités Locales de Abastecimiento y Producción), commonly known as CLAP. Using a sophisticated network of shell companies, business partners, and family members, Saab is said to have laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in corruption proceeds around the world. Also designated are Maduro’s 3 stepsons, Walter, Yosser, and Yoswal (the trio also being known as “Los Chamos”), to whom Saab funnelled money in exchange for access to contracts. Also said to be implicated was the stepsons’ cousin, Carlos Erica Malpica Flores, who was already designated in September 2018, and Tareck Zaidan El Aissami Maddah, who was designated in February 2017 for alleged involved in drugs trafficking.
A news release details the allegations against Saab and Los Chamos, including illicit operations in the gold sector, with gold resources used to pay for some CLAP contracts. Only alleged is the gold sent to Turkey was, in part at least, used by a company controlled by Saab in Turkey, Mulberry, purchased goods in Turkey on behalf of Venezuelan clients, marking up prices before being sold back to Venezuela.
In addition to Saab and Los Chamos, 6 other persons are being designated at the same time for their involvement – including Jose Gregorio Vielma Mora, the former Minister of Foreign Trade and International Investment of the Government of Venezuela, and Saab’s 2 sons.
13 companies said to be connected or involved were also designated – these including companies registered in Mexico, the UAE, Turkey, Panama, Colombia, Hong Kong and the state of Delaware in the US.
This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y