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  • The three former Petroleos de Venezuela SA officials allegedly siphoned millions of dollars into personal accounts at the Banca Privada of Andorra.

    The three former Petroleos de Venezuela SA officials allegedly siphoned millions of dollars into personal accounts at the Banca Privada of Andorra. | Photo: PDVSA

Published 3 February 2018

The three former Petroleos de Venezuela SA officials allegedly siphoned millions of dollars into personal accounts at the Banca Privada of Andorra.

Three former directors of state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) allegedly transferred US$60 million to offshore accounts in Andorra between 2008 and 2014, El Pais reports.

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Through various bank statements acquired by the Latin American publication, the newspaper was able to confirm transactions were made under the names of ex-subsidiary director Luis Carlos Leon Perez; former PDVSA Director Eudomario Carruyo, and Francisco Antonio Jimenez, former president of Bariven – a PDVSA subsidiary.

The officials allegedly siphoned the funds to Andorra, a country nestled between Spain and France, into personal accounts with Banca Privada of Andorra (BPA). Leon moved US$22 million into his offshore account under the name of Nervis Villalobos, vice-president of energy and petroleum of Hugo Chavez.

After appearing in the Panama Papers, a sequence of deposits from 2008 and 2010 totaling US$30.6 million also placed Carruyo under suspicion. A third of the deposits were allegedly made by three companies owned by Villalobos.

The former vice-president of the Hugo Chavez Petroleum company has run into the law before. Villalobos was arrested in Spain and is currently being investigated in two Spanish courts. A judge in Texas has also requested his extradition on corruption and money laundering charges connected to the company's purchasing office.

Jimenez, arrested in November by Venezuelan authorities for corruption, emptied his bank accounts in Switzerland, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the United States and Curacao in 2012.

He then deposited US$9 million with an additional US$8.2 million debited under the name Diego Salazar, cousin of former Energy Minister and PDVSA President Rafael Ramirez, who was also arrested in Venezuela on corruption charges.

The bank statements have been added to an investigation of the BPA by local authorities on money laundering allegations. The Andorran bank has hosted numerous PDVSA executives, including former supervisor in Caracas Ingrid Sanchez Gonzalez and ex-delegate to Spain and Portugal, Julia van Den Brule.


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