LONDON: Two weeks ago, the president of crisis-ridden Venezuela suggested that the Bank of England had frozen some 80 tonnes of Venezuela’s gold and expressed hope that his country would not be robbed of the gold that legally belongs to it.
At least eight tonnes of gold have allegedly been taken from Venezuela’s central bank at the behest of President Nicolas Maduro. Critics insist that he had done this in a bid to smuggle it out from the country.
Lawmaker Angel Daniel Alvarado Rangel from the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), the opposition coalition in Venezuela’s parliament, told Reuters that the gold had been taken away in government vehicles between Wednesday and Friday last week.
Alvarado and three other government sources were quoted as claiming that at the time of the alleged extraction, the bank’s president Calixto Ortego was traveling abroad and there were no regular security guards in the building.
Alvarado contended that the gold would be sold abroad illegally, but did not clarify where it would be transported or who would buy it.