The DEA notice with the $ 10 million reward for information from Alex Saab's partner.

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source: reuters.com

The United States yesterday indicted five people for laundering money from Venezuela's food program.

On Friday, the United States announced that it is offering up to $ 10 million for information that allows the arrest of Álvaro Pulido Vargas, a partner of Alex Saab, a businessman extradited to Miami for money laundering close to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

This decision complements the accusation against Pulido announced by the US prosecutor's office for "money laundering in connection with a foreign bribery scheme," the State Department said in a statement.

The US decision came after three Colombians and two Venezuelans were indicted yesterday in the United States for their alleged participation in a network that laundered money from a program to supply food and medicine to Venezuela. The Justice Department said in a statement on Thursday.

Saab, a businessman close to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, has just been extradited from Cape Verde to Miami to stand trial on eight money laundering charges. A decision that angered Caracas.

The defendants also include José Gregorio Vielma-Mora , who was governor of the Venezuelan state of Táchira between 2013 and 2017, and Pulido's son, Emmanuel Enrique Rubio González , 32 years old.

The other defendants are the Colombian Carlos Rolando Lizcano Manrique, 50, and the Venezuelan Ana Guillermo Luis, 49, according to the indictment delivered by a federal grand jury from the Southern District of Florida.

These five people allegedly paid bribes to Venezuelan government officials to import and distribute food and medicine in the South American country through the Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP), a state-owned and controlled program.

According to the indictment, they inflated the prices of the products they supplied to profit. And between mid-2015 and at least 2020, they conspired with other individuals to launder their earnings in bank accounts in other countries, including the United States.

The indictment said that the five defendants and their collaborators received about $ 1.6 billion from Venezuelan authorities and transferred almost $ 180 million through or to the United States.

Pulido, Vielma-Mora, Rubio, Lizcano, and Guillermo face four counts of money laundering and conspiracy to launder funds. If convicted, they could serve up to 100 years in jail each.