Spanish – An English negotiator has offered Nicolas Maduro’s regime a strategy to free up tons of gold blocked in London in exchange for a cut for his work, a situation that demonstrates Chavismo’s desperation for cash.
A Bloomberg report reveals a plan by which, through an intermediary, the regime is looking to obtain a billion dollars in Venezuelan gold after evading sanctions and selling it to an Austrian bank.
This is Charles Vincent, who has offered the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) the services of the Geneva-based company Pipaud & Partners Sarl to pressure British officials to free Venezuelan gold and sell it to an Austrian bank for a billion dollars, including a discount of approximately 30% of the current market value of the metal, according to a copy of the presentation seen by Bloomberg.
“The documents seemed to suggest that Vincent would charge a percentage for the difference between the commercial value of the gold and the amount that Venezuela would earn,” the report says.
Although it is not clear if Vincent’s proposal will be carried out, officials present at the meeting informed Bloomberg that the BCV would be willing to pay the negotiator through the Central Bank of Spain, a financial institution that has refused to facilitate transactions for Nicolas Maduro’s regime, but that now comes to light again.
According to Bloomberg, the British businessman has also presented two other proposals that specialists describe as “crazy,” but which the BCV would be analyzing in a desperate attempt to acquire foreign currency.
“Another scenario in Vincent’s five-page proposal established that Venezuela could use a state-owned metal refinery in the Austrian city of Graz to process gold and then sell a ton per week to a Czech bank. In another idea, Vincent suggests that a country that has not been able to pay around 60 billion USD in foreign debt could issue a 5 billion USD bond, signed by a bank in Singapore, whose website says it specializes in offering services to waste disposal companies,” the agency says.
Vincent’s approach arises because earlier this year, the Bank of England denied a request from the Maduro regime to withdraw the gold stored there. The decision came after senior U.S. officials pressured their U.K. counterparts to help isolate Maduro.
40 million dollars under the table
According to Bloomberg, on 12th July, Maduro’s regime sold about 40 million USD of the BCV’s gold reserves “under the table.”
Since sanctions have plagued the regime, it has decided to appropriate Venezuelan gold and trade the same. This has resulted in the reduction of reserves to a low of 8.1 billion dollars.
Between non-payment, smuggling, and theft of tons of gold, the South American country runs out of reserves. It was revealed in June how the Chavista regime lost part of Venezuela’s assets abroad. The German Deutsche Bank seized 20 tons of Venezuelan gold for the non-payment of the debt that Maduro had contracted with the institution in 2016.
In October 2018, the Venezuelan dictatorship also forfeited an exchange operation, so the same German bank kept another 45 tons of gold, which accounted for a quarter of the total tons of gold Venezuela has abroad.
The South American country has lost at least 764 tons of gold to the regimes of Hugo Chavez and Maduro. Most of the reserves disappeared amidst illicit transactions.
Last April, Congressman, and economist Jose Guerra pointed out that “when Chavez ordered the repatriation of the gold in 2012, 850 tons were brought in. Today, only 86 tons are left.
Besides the gold confiscated by international authorities for non-payment, the regime is illegally removing tons of gold from the vaults of the BCV.
In recent months, Maduro’s regime has devoted itself to looting the BCV, gradually extracting dozens of tons of gold to sell abroad and raise cash to stay in power.
The “under the table” sales of ingot without the approval of the legitimate National Assembly of Venezuela are one of the few ways the dictatorship has to earn cash, stay in power, and pay part of its internal and external debts.