US Offers $5M Bounty for Arrest of Venezuela's Crypto Chief

The head of Venezuela's state-backed petro cryptocurrency has been added to the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Most Wanted list.

AccessTimeIconJun 2, 2020 at 2:56 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:47 a.m. UTC
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The head of Venezuela's cryptocurrency initiative, the petro, is wanted by the U.S government on charges of corruption and links to the narcotics trade.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) added Joselit Ramirez Camacho to its Most Wanted List on Monday, accusing him of a number of violations related to international commerce and his alleged involvement in the international drug trafficking scene.

Ramirez Camacho is a public official and serves as the superintendent for Venezuela's petro initiative, a cryptocurrency supposedly backed by the country's oil and mineral reserves.

The superintendent is wanted by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arm for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Kingpin Act, and for breaking a series of sanctions imposed by the Treasury Department.

ICE is offering up to $5 million for any information that leads to his arrest and conviction.

Ramirez Camacho is "accused of having deep political, social and economic ties to multiple alleged narcotics kingpins, including Tareck EI Aissami," a former vice president of Venezuela who is also wanted by ICE on charges of money laundering and an alleged role in international narcotics trafficking.

If arrested, Ramirez Camacho will be sent to the U.S. and tried in the Southern District of New York.

Geoffrey Berman, district attorney, of New York, accused him last month of being part of a corrupt group of high-ranking Venezuelan officials – including President Nicolas Maduro – running a "narco-terrorism partnership" intent on flooding "the United States with cocaine in order to undermine the health and wellbeing of our nation."

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