Maduro May Hold Millions in Baidilda Fund, Opposition Says

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro may hold millions of dollars of state money in accounts managed by Fund Nurlan Baidilda Ltd., according to the opposition.

The National Assembly found the assets in an inves­ti­ga­tion that began last year and is try­ing to recov­er them, Carlos Vecchio, a mem­ber of the oppo­si­tion, said by phone. Vecchio is serv­ing as Charge d’ Affaires to the U.S. for Juan Guaido, the head of the nation­al assem­bly who declared him­self pres­i­dent on Jan. 23.

The gov­ern­ment press office didn’t imme­di­ate­ly reply to calls and emails seek­ing seek­ing comment.

U.S. President Donald Trump has ratch­eted up pres­sure on Maduro since last year, cut­ting off access to finan­cial accounts glob­al­ly, sanc­tion­ing gov­ern­ment offi­cials and rec­og­niz­ing Guaido as pres­i­dent last month. Maduro has vowed to resist Trump and called the efforts an attempt to over­throw him.

Nurlan Baidilda Ltd man­ages invest­ments for wealthy indi­vid­u­als and is owned by a Russian cit­i­zen orig­i­nal­ly from Kazakhstan, Vecchio said. He declined to pro­vide details and said they are try­ing to seize the assets. He made the accu­sa­tions ear­li­er on Twitter account. There is very lit­tle infor­ma­tion about Nurlan Baidilda Ltd. online.

Venezuela´s inter­im gov­ern­ment is review­ing Maduro´s finan­cial deal­ings to fig­ure out the ulti­mate des­ti­na­tion of mon­ey “stolen” and “loot­ed” from the nation, accord­ing to Vecchio. “No pub­lic offi­cial can jus­ti­fy these amounts of mon­ey, not even after being born 1,000 times,” he said refer­ring to the mil­lions of U.S. dol­lars tak­en from Venezuela and believed to be at this fund, stop­ping short of pro­vid­ing an spe­cif­ic amount.

Vecchio´s rev­e­la­tions comes after a failed attempt to deliv­er human­i­tar­i­an aid to the hun­gry nation led to a week­end of vio­lence on the Colombian-Venezuelan bor­der. President Nicolas Maduro’s secu­ri­ty forces repelled the food and med­i­cine, say­ing the ini­tia­tive was a pre­text for invasion.

— With assis­tance by Ezra Fieser

Maduro May Hold Millions in Baidilda Fund, Opposition Says

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