Claudia Díaz Guillén

Former treasurer of Hugo Chávez is extradited to the US and faces charges for money laundering

MIAMI, United States.- The Venezuelan Claudia Díaz Guillén, who was a nurse for the late dictator of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, appeared this Friday before the United States justice where she faces charges of money laundering.

According to a note in Diario de las Américas, Díaz Guillén, 48, is being accused “of accepting bribes from a media magnate to authorize lucrative monetary transactions when she was the director of the National Treasury Office a decade ago. ”.

The former treasurer of Chávez was extradited from Spain this Thursday, May 12, and a few hours after arriving in the United States, she appeared before Judge William Matthewman in federal court in West Palm Beach.

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Díaz Guillén, reads the Diario text, appeared in court with shackles and a blue prison uniform; he did not speak, and his lawyer Marissel Descalzo said that she was not going to comment. The judge set a bail hearing for Tuesday.

The extradition of Claudia Díaz Guillén was approved in October 2021 by the National Court of Spain, despite the fact that the accused tried to block the process on the grounds that she could respond to the charges in Spain, where an investigation has also been carried out. research. However, the Spanish court concluded that the accusations were different and that the investigation in the United States was much broader.

The charges

According to a report from Cnn in Spanishwhich cites US prosecutors, “Díaz and her husband – who was part of the security team of the late President Hugo Chávez – would have received ‘millions of dollars’ in bribes from Raúl Gorrín, owner of the television station Globovisión in Venezuela, who, According to the file, he sought to have preferential access to the purchase of dollars in Venezuela between 2008 and 2017, years in which an exchange control regime was in force in that country.

Another former treasurer of the Chávez government, Alejandro Andrade Cedeño, sentenced in November 2018 on money laundering charges, was also accused in the plot.

For his part, Adrián Velásquez, Díaz’s husband and former head of security for Chávez, also faces charges. He, however, still awaits extradition to the United States, after exhausting his appeals before the National Court.

The couple is being accused of accepting at least 4.2 million dollars as part of the bribery scheme, and US prosecutors say that in exchange for the payments, Díaz guaranteed Gorrín the rights to exchange more than 1 billion dollars in foreign currency in United States on behalf of the Venezuelan regime.

Gorrín, who remains in Venezuela, is on the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s most wanted list, and Washington imposed sanctions on his television network in 2019.

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