Joselit Ramírez, Venezuelan Crypto Chief, Wanted in U.S.

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  • Joselit Ramírez is being sought by U.S. authorities on money laundering and sanctions evasion charges
  • There is a $5 million reward for anyone who helps capture him
  • U.S. authorities are getting fed up with Venezuela’s attempts to circumnavigate sanctions

Joselit Camacho Ramírez, the head of the Venezuelan government’s cryptocurrency operation, has been declared a wanted person by the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and a $5 million reward offered for his capture. Ramírez, superintendent of the country’s cryptocurrency operation, has been added to the agency’s most wanted list under suspicion of money laundering and sanctions evasion tied to the “corruption and criminality” within the Maduro administration, who launched the Petro cryptocurrency in 2018.

Ramírez Accused of Inhabiting Drug Underworld

HIS has worked with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency in isolating Ramírez as a target of the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program, releasing a notice of their intention to bring Ramírez to book, describing him as “a Venezuelan government official accused of having deep political, social and economic ties to multiple alleged narcotics kingpins…”

Ramírez, who was last seen in Venezuela’s capital Caracas, now has a target on his back thanks to his work in developing the Petro, the national cryptocurrency that has acted as Venezuela’s method of circumnavigating U.S. sanctions.

Ramírez has been indicted in the Southern District of New York for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Kingpin Act, and other sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC).

$5 Million Reward Will Tempt Venezuelan Officials

In a sign of how much the U.S. would like to get their hands on Ramírez, $5 million is being offered to anyone with information that leads to his arrest or conviction. This proposition will no doubt test the loyalty of many a poorly paid Venezuelan official, and Ramírez must now be a very worried man.

With Ramírez’s assistance, the presidentially-approved Petro cryptocurrency has been forcibly adopted within the country with the dual purpose of negating the rampant hyperinflation of the bolivar and continuing to trade and store wealth out of reach of the U.S., who first applied sanctions to the country in 2015.