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Spanish Police Raid Office of Ex-Venezuelan Ambassador Over PDVSA Case - Sources

© AFP 2023 / Juan Barreto Venezuela's oil company PDVSA
Venezuela's oil company PDVSA - Sputnik International
Last week, Venezuela's ambassador to Egypt, Wilmer Omar Barrientos, said that the Latin American state has lost $30 billion over the past three months due to the sanctions and economic blockade.

Spanish law enforcement has raided offices linked to the former Ambassador to Venezuela Raúl Morodo, who's suspected of money laundering for Venezuela's PDVSA oil giant, Sputnik sources said on Monday.

The sources refused to provide additional details, citing the probe's secrecy.

According to el Pais newspaper, the operation was launched after Spanish anti-corruption bodies ordered it. In the aftermath of the raids, four people have been detained, including Raúl Morodo's son, Alejo Morodo.

READ MORE: US Sanctions of PDVSA Put Health of Hundreds of Venezuelans at Risk — Caracas

Former Spanish official Raúl Morodo was appointed ambassador to Venezuela in July 2004.

An oil pumpjack and a tank with the corporate logo of state oil company PDVSA are seen in an oil facility in Lagunillas - Sputnik International
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The reports about the raids come after on 17 May, Venezuela's ambassador to Egypt, Wilmer Omar Barrientos, said that the Latin American country has lost $30 billion over the past three months due to the sanctions and economic blockade.

According to Barrientos, since US-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido illegally proclaimed himself the country's interim president in January, US and European banks have frozen billions of dollars worth in the Venezuelan government funds. In addition, the United States has blocked the country's oil assets and imposed sanctions on state-run oil company PDVSA.

Venezuela has long been suffering from an acute economic crisis amid protracted political turmoil and US economic sanctions. The US sanctions have been in effect since March 2015, when then-President Barack Obama imposed them on a number of Venezuelan officials over alleged human rights abuses and corruption. The restrictions have since been repeatedly expanded.

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