Alex Nain Saab Moran – who is wanted by U.S. authorities for laundering hundred of millions of dollars for Venezuela Nicolas Maduro’s regime – was detained in Cabo Verde, Africa on Friday, during a scheduled refueling stop from Iran, said sources familiar with the investigation.
Saab Moran flew into the African nation on a Venezuelan government plane, the sources said. Those sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Justice Department officials have already arrived in Cabo Verde, in an effort to take Saab Moran into custody and extradite him to the United States to face pending charges.
DOJ officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
However, the situation will not be simple, they say, because Saab Moran is considered to be far more valuable than the just the money laundering charges contained in his indictment.
“In fact, he’s an enormous asset for the U.S. with information not only on the Maduro regime” but other nations connected to the regime that are considered serious adversaries of the United States, said the sources.
According to information provided to this reporter, members of Maduro’s government left early Saturday morning for Cabo Verde, Africa to fight off an extradition of Saab Moran to the United States.
Although Saab Moran was born in Columbia, he is a citizen of Venezuela, who also has extremely close ties to Cuba, Russia and Iran, said the sources.
“Saab is the biggest asset to the U.S. in the fight against Maduro’s regime, Hezbollah, Iran and Cuba,” said the source familiar with the investigation. “He absolutely must be extradited to the United States. There can be no games with this at all.”
On Saturday evening Jorge Arreaza M Tweeted that the Maduro government “denounces the arbitrary and illegal detention of Venezuelan citizen, Alex Nain Saab, on the part of Interpol, when he transited through the Republic of Cabo Verde.”
#COMUNICADO | Venezuela denuncia la detención arbitraria e ilegal del ciudadano venezolano, Alex Nain Saab, por parte de Interpol, cuando se encontraba en tránsito en la República de Cabo Verde, sumándose a las acciones de agresión, bloqueo y asedio de EEUU contra nuestro país pic.twitter.com/sgGibuVQeU
— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) June 13, 2020
Saab Moran was indicted by the Justice Department last July on federal money-laundering charges. He was accused of bribing Venezuelan officials and funneling more than $350 million to overseas accounts as part of a food program that he said was used to serve the hungry people in Venezuela.
But Saab’s money laundering schemes were far reaching and were done with the assistance of the Maduro regime, which benefited from the vast global transfers. One of the biggest schemes involved a fictitious home building company and began in 2011 with the help of an accomplice in Florida, named Alvaro Pulido Vargas. Vargas is also wanted by the Department of Justice.
“Between on or about March 12, 2012, and on or about December 1, 2014, ALEX NAIN SAAB MORAN, ALVARO PULIDO VARGAS, a/k/a German Enrique Rubio Salas, and their co-conspirators caused wire transfers totaling approximately $350,041,500 to be made from bank accounts in Venezuela owned and controlled by SAAB and PULIDO, through correspondent bank accounts in the United States, and then to overseas bank accounts owned and controlled by SAAB and PULIDO,” stated the July, 2019 indictment.
“Between on or about January 16, 2014, and on or about September 15, 2015, ALEX NAIN SAAB MORAN and AL V ARO PULIDO V ARGAS, a/k/a German Enrique Rubio Salas, distributed profits and paid expenses related to the corrupt scheme by, among other things, causing wire transfers to be made to bank accounts of Co-Conspirator 1 in the Southern District of Florida,” the indictment reads.
You may like
U.S. Commerce Department: Chinese firms are supplying Russian entities
On Tuesday, the United States Commerce Department said several companies in China are supplying Russia’s military. The announcement was made alongside a “new round of blacklist restrictions for foreign firms aiding Moscow’s war against Ukraine” reports National Review.
“These entities have previously supplied items to Russian entities of concern before February 24, 2022 and continue to contract to supply Russian entity listed and sanctioned parties after Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine,” stated an official Commerce Department notice posted to the Federal Register.
“Commerce also blacklisted several Chinese companies and Chinese government research institutes for their work on naval-technology and supplying Iran with U.S. tech in a way that harms America’s national security” adds National Review.
Six companies that are helping further the Russian invasion are also based in Lithuania, Russia, the U.K., Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
National Review reports:
The Commerce Department stopped short of blaming the Chinese government for the sanctions-evasion activity it identified today. Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo previously said that there doesn’t appear to be any “systemic efforts by China to go around our export controls.” The Biden administration has publicly and privately warned Beijing against supporting the Russian war, with White House officials even leaking to the press about an effort to present China’s ambassador in Washington with information about Russian troop movements ahead of the invasion.
While Beijing has not expressed outright support for the invasion, it has used its propaganda networks to back Moscow’s narrative. Meanwhile, top Chinese and Russian officials have moved to solidify the “no-limits” partnership they declared in early February. General secretary Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin held a call this month, marking the construction of a new bridge between their two countries, during which they reiterated their support for the burgeoning geopolitical alignment.
National-security adviser Jake Sullivan said last month that the U.S. has no indications that Beijing has provided Russia with military equipment. A Finnish think tank, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, estimated on June 12 that Chinese imports of Russian oil since the outset of the conflict have amounted to $13 billion, making China the biggest consumer of the country’s oil exports. Previously, it was Germany. “While Germany cut back on purchases since the start of the war, China’s oil and gas imports from Russia rose in February and remained at a roughly constant level since,” the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted.
Official advisor Anton Gerashchenko tweeted incredible video of Ukrainian soldiers sweeping through fields, writing “this is how our fields are de-mined so that farmers can harvest crops.” On Monday a Russian missile struck a mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, where over 1,000 civilians were inside.
“Almost two dozen people were still missing Tuesday one day after a Russian airstrike struck a Ukrainian shopping mall and killed 18 civilians inside…On top of the 18 dead and 21 people missing, Ukrainian Interior Minster Denis Monastyrsky said 59 were injured. Several of the dead were burned beyond recognition” reported the New York Post.
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) June 28, 2022
You may like
International5 days ago
At least 20 dead bodies found in South African nightclub, with no ‘visible signs of injuries’
Nation4 days ago
Supreme Court rules 5-4 states can be sued for discriminating against Veterans
War on Drugs6 days ago
60-year-old CA man arrested, possessed enough fentanyl to kill 12 million people
Economy3 days ago
Chevron downsizes global San Fran headquarters, paying for employees to move to Texas office