Portugal Investigating Fraud Linked to Venezuela PDVSA Funds, PDVSA Says

The investigators are reviewing operations “in which there could have been money laundering and in which former employees of PDVSA and its subsidiaries could have been involved.”

PDVSA until 2014 received payments for crude deliveries at its accounts at BES, as the bank was known, according to a 2014 Reuters report that cited an internal PDVSA document.

BES collapsed in 2014. Some of its assets were used to create a new bank called Novo Banco.

PDVSA had also bought $365 million in bonds issued by the holding company of the family of Ricardo Salgado, who was founder and president of the bank, according to a 2014 Reuters special report.

The company said it will soon provide details on efforts to seek civil and criminal measures in jurisdictions where it has “identified assets of persons involved in corruption,” and said it would carry out “legal actions” in Portugal.

It did not provide details on such actions or the amounts being investigated.

PDVSA has acknowledged problems with corruption and is seeking to improve procedures but insists that ideological adversaries are exaggerating the irregularities for political gain.

“The national oil company will continue reinforcing its internal controls and implementing new mechanisms and procedures to ensure that situations like this do not occur again,” the statement said.

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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