Alex Saab, alleged financier of the Venezuelan president, is extradited to the United States and is due in court on Monday – .

Alex Saab, alleged financier of the Venezuelan president, is extradited to the United States and is due in court on Monday – .

Colombian businessman Alex Saab is scheduled to appear for the first time at 1 p.m. ET before U.S. trial judge John J. O’Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the door said on Sunday. word of the Department of Justice, Nicole Navas Oxman.

The United States alleges Saab was behind a corruption ring involving a government-subsidized food program called CLAP that allowed Maduro and his allies to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from the Venezuelan people while using food as a form of social control.

“Rather than ensuring that this vulnerable population gets the food they desperately need, the regime is using the CLAP program as a political tool to reward support and punish political critics,” the US Treasury Department said in 2019 .

“By offering food through this program, the old regime is able to maintain its influence as many Venezuelan citizens do not have enough money to buy food and therefore depend on the rations provided by the government. CLAP to survive. “

The Treasury Department also accused Saab of personally profiting from overvalued contracts.

Saab had been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department and was wanted by the Southern District of the Florida Department of Justice on money laundering charges.

Due to his indictment in the United States, an Interpol Red Notice has been issued. In June 2020, Saab was arrested while traveling from Venezuela to Iran when his plane stopped to refuel in Cape Verde, an African island nation.

Alex Saab said he feared he would be extradited to the United States

Earlier this year, Saab told CNN he feared he would be treated inhumanely if extradited to the United States.

He was extradited on Saturday and the DOJ said Saab’s extradition was “conducted in full compliance with all relevant Cape Verde laws and court rulings”.

“The United States Department of Justice expresses its gratitude to the government of Cape Verde for its assistance and perseverance in this complex case and its admiration for the professionalism of the Cape Verdean judicial system,” the statement from the Department of Justice said.

But Saab’s lawyer claimed in a video statement on Saturday that Saab had been “kidnapped” by the United States and that his extradition “violated” the rules of Cape Verde’s domestic law and international law.

Akanksha Sharma and Isa Soares contributed to this report.


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