US Adds Maduro’s Crypto Chief to Most Wanted List

US Adds Maduro’s Crypto Chief to Most Wanted List

By Steven McLoud/Diálogo
July 10, 2020

Another Venezuelan official linked to the illegitimate Nicolás Maduro regime has been added to the United States’ Most Wanted List.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Joselit de la Trinidad Ramírez Camacho, who was also designated as a target of the U.S. State Department’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program.

The announcement was made on June 1 in New York, where Ramírez was indicted in the Southern District for violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Kingpin Act, and other sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Ramírez, who currently serves as Venezuela’s superintendent of cryptocurrency, is accused of “having deep political, social, and economic ties to multiple alleged narcotics kingpins,” and participating in transnational organized crime. Tareck El Aissami, the regime’s economic and petroleum chief, was among the narcotics kingpins named in the announcement.

“The Venezuelan people deserve a government that they have chosen freely and whose officials do not conspire with associates to engage in crimes of theft from the people of Venezuela, including money laundering to hide the proceeds of those illicit activities,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Both Ramírez and El Aissami have been instrumental in launching the petro, a state-issued, oil-backed form of currency that the Maduro regime initiated in 2018.  They have been trying to popularize the currency domestically and with Venezuela’s small group of trading partners. Venezuelans can use this currency at gas stations and stores, but despite all attempts by the regime, the currency has not been universally adopted and has had very limited effect.

In March 2020, the U.S. announced a $15 million reward for Maduro on drug-trafficking charges, as well as up to $10 million for other members of his regime including El Aissami; Diosdado Cabello, head of Venezuela’s illegitimate National Constituent Assembly; and Vladimir Padrino, the country’s Minister of Defense.

“The United States is committed to helping Venezuelans restore their democracy through free and fair presidential elections that will provide them with honest and capable national leadership,” Pompeo said.