The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), a unit of the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York has put the Venezuelan Petro Mastermind on America’s Most Wanted list with a $5M bounty for whoever has information that can lead to his arrest. This was announced on Monday.
Joselit Ramírez, the Venezuelan Petro mastermind, is believed to have affiliations with drug barons. Apart from him, one time, Venezuela’s vice president, also Tareck El Aissami, is said to be a member of the group and also a wanted man by the ICE for money laundering and drug operations.
The petro mastermind is alleged to have violated money laundering laws and also evades sanctions of the United States. The ICE statement revealed that Ramírez had been indicted in the Southern District of New York. He is said to have come against the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Kingpin Act, and sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC).
Venezuelan President, Petro mastermind and America
Sometime in March, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, and top Venezuelan government officials with narcotic operations that have supplied America with illegal drugs for over two decades now.
They were all also alleged of using cryptos to conceal transactions of their illegal drug cartel. Venezuela, also as a country, has been accused of evading financial sanctions when dealing with other countries since it launched its own Petro.
U.S and Venezuela hostile relationship
It is also worthy of mention that America and Venezuela are two hostile nations since as far as 1999 when both countries had no diplomatic ties. Last year, Venezuela broke relations with America again after Donald Trump announced that Venezuelan President the country recognizes is Juan Guaidó and not Nicolas Maduro, who is the sitting President.
After Venezuela reportedly got shipments of oil from Iran, another hostile country with America, the U.S openly criticized the deal between both countries.
Venezuela has also further directed that all Venezuelan gas stations include petro crypto as a means of payment. This is against the U.S directive on Petro crypto. Trump, in 2019 signed an executive order placing a ban on all petro transactions in the U.S.