Venezuela overtakes national crypto division

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro, according to a March 17

A new board of directors will lead the restructuring, led by Anabel Pereira Fernández, a lawyer serving as president of the Fondo de Garantía de Depositos y Protección Bancaria (FOGADE), the Venezuelan version of the United States Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). Other directors include Héctor Andrés Obregón Pérez, Luis Alberto Pérez González and Julio César Mora Sánchez.

Without giving further details or specific reasons for the reorganization, the decree says the board will plan the next steps for the crypto division. Maduro’s government claims the move aims, among other things, to protect the country’s citizens from the negative effects of economic sanctions.

The new board structure omits Joselit Ramirez, who has led the department since its inception in 2018. According to local Venezuelan media, Ramirez was reportedly arrested on March 17 on corruption charges. As of this writing, Cointelegraph has not been able to confirm the information. Ramirez oversaw the country’s crypto tax rules and cryptocurrency Petro.

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In June 2020, the USA put Ramirez on their Most Wanted List. The Homeland Security Investigations branch of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has offered a bounty of up to $5 million for any information that would lead to the arrest of Petro’s boss.

At the time, authorities claimed that Ramirez had “deep political, social and economic ties” to suspected drug lords, including Tareck El Aissami, the former Vice President of Venezuela.

Ramirez’s bounty was the smallest among the alleged co-conspirators as the US government offered $15 million to capture Head of State Nicolás Maduro. Several other high-ranking officials, including El Aissami, face $10 million in bounties.