Venezuelan energy suppliers have shut down some cryptocurrency mining facilities in the country amid a probe into ongoing corruption investigations.
Energy suppliers across Venezuela have shut down various crypto mining operations as part of the country reorganising its national crypto departments. Venezuela is structuring its crypto authority amid corruption investigations involving the country’s oil operations. Recently, Joselit Ramirez, the man in charge of Venezuela’s national crypto departments, was removed from his position by president Nicolas Madura for allegedly participating in a plan to steal from the country’s oil operations.
Local media reports and tweets from Venezuela’s National Association of Cryptocurrencies indicate that crypto mining facilities were shut down in the states of Carabobo, Bolivar, and Lara. Numerous crypto exchanges were also ordered to cease their activities.
Ramirez and a large portion of the department were removed recently as the Venezuelan government ordered a comprehensive restructuring of the Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (SUNACRIP). The restructuring occurred after Ramirez, who spearheaded the department since its inception in 2018, was arrested on corruption charges. It is alleged that Ramirez has “deep political, social and economic ties” to suspected narcotic kingpins, including the former vice president of Venezuela, Tareck El Aissami.
Cointelegraph reports that the shutdown of crypto mining facilities is part of the ongoing investigation into the corruption involving Venezuela’s oil company PDVSA. Tarek William Saab, Venezuela’s attorney general, revealed on March 25 that government officials are believed to have been running parallel oil operations with the assistance of the national crypto department. Saab said on Twitter:
This network used a conglomerate of commercial companies to legitimise the capital obtained from sales through the acquisition of crypto-assets, personal and real estate.
He added that at least ten people, along with Ramirez, have been arrested in connection with the alleged corruption.
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