Home » today » News » Former PDVSA director linked to Tareck El Aissami corruption plot dies in custody – Diario La Página – 2024-04-20 06:35:02

Former PDVSA director linked to Tareck El Aissami corruption plot dies in custody – Diario La Página – 2024-04-20 06:35:02

The Venezuelan Prosecutor’s Office reported on Wednesday the death in police custody of Marino Lugo Aguilar, a soldier and former director of the state company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), detained for his alleged involvement in a million-dollar corruption scandal.

“A forensic doctor went to the National Service of Medicine and Forensic Sciences to perform an autopsy on citizen Marino José Lugo Aguilar, deceased, who was detained due to an arrest warrant requested in the investigation of the PDVSA-Cripto case,” indicated the Public Ministry. (MP) in a statement on the social network X. “The evidence collected by specialists preliminarily establishes that the death occurred by hanging.”

Until this moment, the Prosecutor’s Office had not publicly reported the arrest of Lugo Aguilar, which according to local media occurred on April 16. Nor did he specify the penitentiary center in which he died.

“Marino Lugo would be charged with the crimes of appropriation or distraction of public assets (…) money laundering, treason and association,” the MP explained.

According to local media, Lugo Aguilar directed the gasoline dollarization process at Venezuelan service stations. Previously, he headed a subsidiary of the Socialist Cement Corporation.

Some 60 people have been arrested since March 2023, when the Prosecutor’s Office began the investigation into corruption in the state oil company.

With this case, there are now three people involved in corruption scandals in state companies who have died in state custody in recent months.

In April 2023, the attorney general ordered an investigation into the suicide of Leoner Azuaje Urrea, who was part of the administrative board of Cartones de Venezuela (Cartoven) and who had been presented hours before to be charged with several unspecified crimes.

A month later, in May 2023, Juan Almeida Morgado, identified as “technological operator of the PDVSA-Cripto plot”, which involved parallel operations with crude oil loads, died at his residence after a house arrest measure.

“Juan Almeida had been suffering – for some time – from a terminal illness diagnosed as liver cirrhosis: at the time of his death, he was at his residence,” Attorney General Tarek Saab wrote at the time.

This Tuesday marked one week since the arrest of former Minister of Petroleum Tareck El Aissami, former Minister of Economy and Finance Simón Zerpa and businessman Samark López,

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