Venezuela arrests six top executives from U.S. refiner Citgo

CARACAS – Venezuelan authorities have arrested the acting president of its U.S.-based refiner Citgo and five of the subsidiary’s top executives on corruption accusations, the country’s chief prosecutor revealed on Tuesday.

Reports said authorities arrested Jose Pereira during an event at state oil company PDVSA’s headquarters in Caracas. Five other executives from the company were also detained.

Mr. Pereira was promoted in April as interim president of Citgo, the US refining and marketing unit of the nation’s state oil company PDVSA. He was previously Citgo’s vice president of finance. He replaced Nelson Martinez, who was named as Venezuela’s oil minister in January.

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Citgo owns three refineries and a network of terminals and pipelines in the United States.

Reuters cited prosecutor Tarek Saab as saying that he was leading a crusade against “organized crime” within PDVSA. Since taking office in August, he has arrested around 50 oil managers in the widening corruption investigation, the news agency said.

Citgo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.