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U.S. Federal Court Grants Former Venezuelan Governor Fugitive Status

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This Monday, a Federal Court granted “fugitive status” to the former Venezuelan governor of the state of Táchira, José Gregorio Vielma Mora, and other citizens linked to the Colombian businessman Alex Saab, front man of Nicolás Maduro, who is currently in the custody of the U.S. authorities.

The information was released by journalist Joshua Goodman, of Associated Press and detailed that Álvaro Pulido —partner of Alex Saab— Emmanuel Enrique Rubio González, Ana Guillermo Luis and Carlos Rolando Lizcano Martínez are also considered fugitives from American justice.

The measure was taken, according to Goodman, as part of the investigation being carried out in the United States for the alleged participation of these individuals in a network that laundered money from a program to supply food and medicine to Venezuela.

Colombian Álvaro Pulido, for whom the United States is offering a $10 million reward for any information leading to his arrest, will also be held accountable for allegedly committing other money laundering crimes along with his associate Alex Saab.

Indictment against former Venezuelan governor

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted former Venezuelan governor Vielma Mora for a corruption and money laundering scheme related to a bribery scheme that took place between 2015 and 2020.

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The indictment was handed down by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Florida and involved three Colombian nationals and two Venezuelan nationals for their alleged roles in laundering proceeds from contracts to provide food and medicine to Venezuela that were obtained through kickbacks.

The case against Vielma Mora followed Saab’s extradition to U.S. territory from Cape Verde. On Saturday, October 16, Saab boarded the plane that took him to the United States. The Constitutional Court of the African country verified the legality of the process against the Colombian businessman after his arrest last year.