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Venezuela arrests six top executives from PDVSA's U.S. subsidiary Citgo

Staff Writer |
Venezuela arrested the acting president and five other top executives in charge of Citgo, the U.S. refinery subsidiary of troubled state oil company PDVSA, on corruption charges.

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"Six senior executives have been arrested," said chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab, adding that the charges included embezzlement, bid rigging, money laundering and criminal association.

He speculated that they might have been assisting "a foreign power" pursuing an anti-Venezuelan strategy -- an allusion to the United States.

The Citgo chief, Jose Angel Pereira, was arrested in Caracas.

The place and circumstances of the arrests of the other executives -- Citgo vice presidents Tomeo Badel, Alirio Zambrano, Jorge Toledo, Gustavo Cardenas and Jose Luis Zambrano -- were not given.

Their arrests come just a week after Saab announced the detention of a deputy minister and nine PDVSA officials for allegedly doctoring crude oil production figures.

In all, around 50 PDVSA employees have been arrested under an anti-corruption drive led by Saab since he took office as the country's attorney general in August.

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