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Spain arrests four former Venezuelan officials for U.S. probe

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Spain arrests four former Venezuelan officials for U.S. probe

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MADRID/CARACAS (Reuters) – Spanish authorities arrested a former Venezuelan deputy minister and three former executives at Venezuelan state companies for alleged links to money laundering and international corruption, Spain’s Civil Guard said on Friday. The operation was carried out with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “The District Court for South Texas has issued an international detention order for extradition for involvement in criminal acts related to money laundering and international corruption,” the Civil Guard said in a statement. The statement does not specify the names of those arrested but does include their initials and the position of one of them. It says that person is a former energy vice minister. Venezuela and its state oil company PDVSA have been involved in several corruption scandals in recent years. Neither PDVSA nor the Venezuelan government responded immediately to requests for comment. About 10 people have pleaded guilty as part of a U.S. investigation into a $1 billion bribery plot involving payments to PDVSA officials, which became public with the arrest of two Venezuelan businessmen in 2015.

(Reporting by Paul Day in Madrid and Eyanir Chinea in Caracas; Writing by Girish Gupta; Editing by Mary Milliken)
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