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Monday August 20th, 2018 5:04PM
4:45PM ( 19 minutes ago ) News Alert

Official: US believes ex-Venezuela oil czar took bribes

By The Associated Press
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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — U.S. prosecutors believe Venezuela's former oil czar received bribes as part of a major graft scheme that allegedly took place in the OPEC nation's oil industry, says an American official familiar with the probe.

Rafael Ramirez is named as a bribe recipient although not charged in an indictment against other former officials that was partially unsealed Monday in Houston.

Prosecutors leading a widening probe into corruption at Venezuela's state-run oil giant PDVSA allege in the unsealed portion of the indictment that proceeds from bribes were shared with someone identified as "Official B."

That unidentified politician is Ramirez, a U.S. official tells The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the matter.

Ramirez in the past has denied corruption allegations.

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