Venezuela’s Petro: Fresh trouble surfaces as report suggests ‘conclusive evidence’ of money laundering

Venezuela’s oil-pegged cryptocurrency, Petro has drawn criticism from Venezuelan citizens, with many calling the digital asset a fraud, since it was created by the Nicolas Maduro-led government. In a recent technical report published by a Latin American exchange, suspicion was raised about the unknown origins of the funds Petro is infused with.

According to the Spanish news portal Verifikado, Maduro revealed that he raised $735 million, hours after the launch of Petro. After a couple of months, he announced the sale of a massive $3.34 million during the initial coin offering.

However, in the technical audit conducted by a Latin American exchange firm for the period of February-May 2018, it was found that none of the funds announced have any records on the blockchain.

With scores of human rights violations and anti-government protests around the country, it was not possible for the Maduro-led regime to draw huge funds from investors ahead of the crypto sale. The fact that Maduro was able to do so is a cause for concern as many allege that the Maduro government is guilty of money laundering.

The report, which was originally published in Spanish, said:

“..the mention of agreements with the ghost company “Aerotrading”, which does not figure in the ecosystem of development and neither on the Internet; In addition, the Zeus company dissociates itself from the agreements made, while the Venezuelan government is still naming the companies and the Nem foundation as the direct responsible for the integration of the Token [Petro]”

Additionally, at least eight accounts with irregularities have been cited in the report, including a ‘White Paper’ document which maybe have been a deliberate attempt to stage the document as a legitimate ICO paper.

Concluding the investigative piece, the author of the report, Julio Eduardo Cruces Carvallo, stated:

“..that there is conclusive evidence, reflected in the technical report, which points to the existence of an alleged crime of fraud. In addition to having conclusive evidence of the alleged fraud, there are also signs of money laundering in the public offer of Petro.”

The Maduro regime allegedly created an exchange for the sole purpose of trading BTC and ETH for Petro. Venezuelan citizens can purchase Petro with bolivars through this exchange at the regulator – National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities or Sunacrip’s offices.

The report further declares:

“The risk warning of an imminent economic collapse in the economy, if continued developing advances in the taxation of Petro, in economic sectors and savings staff of the citizens of the country, by means of a completely centralized and manipulable.”

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