'Venezuelan authorities have detained two former senior oil officials in an expanding investigation into the country’s state-run oil industry.
Former oil minister Eulogio del Pino and the ex-president of state oil company PDVSA, Nestor Martinez, were arrested on Thursday, just four days after they were dismissed by President Nicolas Maduro in an unexpected cabinet shake-up.
The two stand accused of defrauding the government of state funds, conspiracy, and money laundering, among other charges, said Chief Prosecutor Tarek William Saab during a press conference in Venezuela’s capital city of Caracas.
Saab said the detention of the top officials fulfilled a government vow to ensure that Venezuela’s massive oil wealth was spent on those in need and was not embezzled by corrupt authorities with mansions and yachts in the US.
Del Pino allegedly profited from and assisted in doctoring production figures in a joint Russian-Venezuelan oil field. Saab also pointed out that the alleged scam deprived the Venezuelan state of more than $500 million in revenue between 2015 and 2017.'
Read more: Venezuela nabs former senior oil officials in graft probe
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