February 7, 2017 / 11:59 PM / a year ago

Venezuela to charge ex-PDVSA port boss over alleged corruption

CARACAS, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Venezuela will charge a former manager of state oil company PDVSA’s main crude exporting port with corruption over suspected overpricing in equipment purchases, the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement late on Tuesday. Jesus Osorio will be charged in the coming hours following complaints lodged by colleagues at PDVSA, which exports much of its oil from the Jose terminal, over the purchase of two monobuoys costing $76.2 million, the statement added.

Further information was not immediately available. Caracas-based PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Venezuela’s opposition parties say PDVSA has been crippled by financial malfeasance and blames corruption for some of Venezuela’s deep economic recession. A congressional probe in October said $11 billion was missing from PDVSA, and critics say arrests linked to corruption are perfunctory and do not tackle the roots of the problem.

PDVSA says it is taking steps to combat corruption, which has affected oil-rich Venezuela for decades. The company has also said in the past that it is victim of a right-wing campaign, led by the United States and international media, to sabotage socialism. (Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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