Switzerland investigating Venezuela-linked corruption

Despite its vast reserves of oil, Venezuela has to import fuel. Keystone

Switzerland’s attorney general has opened an investigation into a corruption case involving Venezuela, according to a weekend report published by Schweiz am Wochenende. The Latin American nation is in the grips of a major political, economic and social crisis.

This content was published on February 11, 2019 minutes

According to the prosecutor's statement to the weekly, proceedings were initiated at the end of 2017 against unknown persons “in the context of the events in Venezuela”. The offence is money laundering.

UBS, contacted by Swiss financial news agency AWP, has indicated that it is not aware of the case. Requests for comment from Credit Suisse and Julius Bär have gone unanswered.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is also reported to be taking action.

Last October, a former employee of Swiss multinational private bank Julius Baer was sentenced to ten years behind bars in the United States for money laundering.

  + More on the case of Matthias Krull, former Julius Baer banker

He admitted that he had helped steal about $600 million (CHF600 million) from Venezuela’s national oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).

Last month, Washington imposed sanctions on PDVSA.

The United States and several other countries have dismissed the re-election of Venezuelan President Nicolas Madura as illegitimate, recognising instead Juan Guaido, the national assembly leader who declared himself interim president of the Latin American country.

+ Switzerland concerned over the deepening crisis in Venezuela

Switzerland has not yet recognised Guaido, unlike other European countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?