Treasury Combats Theft from Venezuela’s Food Distribution Program

This week the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctioned operatives behind a well orchestrated network responsible for disrupting Venezuela’s food distribution program.

In all, Venezuela receives tens of millions of dollars in emergency aid, consisting largely of food and medicine, from nations around the world.

But such a massive effort to deliver free stuff to a nation in crisis opens the doors for quite a bit of corruption and profiteering.

On 25 July, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Colombian national by the name of Alex Nain Saab Moran. According to the OFAC, Moran was behind a vast corruption network that has enabled former President Nicolás Maduro (Maduro) and his regime to significantly profit from food imports and distribution in Venezuela. U.S. officials have claimed that Moran has “personally profited” from overvalued contracts, including Venezuela’s food distribution program known as the Local Committees for Supply and Production.

Apparently, Moran’s dealings were not limited to just Venezuela or even the general South American region. Through a sophisticated network of shell companies, business partners, and family members, Saab laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in corruption proceeds around the world.

It is incidents like these that show the true horror of the Venezuelan leadership.

It would be one thing for Maduro and his henchmen to not want to bow to the will of people and step down. But the world has seen time and again, that Venezuela’s citizens are mere pawns for the Maduro regime. All the powers of government are essentially tools to keep those pawns under his control. As Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin put it: “The corruption network that operates the CLAP program has allowed Maduro and his family members to steal from the Venezuelan people. They use food as a form of social control, to reward political supporters and punish opponents, all the while pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars through a number of fraudulent schemes.”

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Samuel Siskind

Samuel Siskind studied intelligence research at the American Military University in West Virginia. He served as a squad commander in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Corp of Combat Engineers, in the Corps' ground battalions and later in its Intelligence Wing at regional and divisional stations. For the past five years, Samuel has worked as a consultant and researcher on physical and information security issues for private and governmental institutions, in the US, Africa, India, and Israel. He currently lives in Jerusalem.

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