The United Arab Emirates Has Purchased 3 Tons of Gold From Venezuela
Abu Dhabi investment firm Noor Capital said on Friday that it bought 3 tonnes of gold on Jan. 21 from Venezuela’s central bank, at a time when President Nicolas Maduro is seeking to keep his crisis-stricken government solvent, reported Reuters.
Noor Capital said in a statement it would refrain from further transactions until Venezuela’s situation stabilizes and its purchase was in accordance with “international standards and laws in place” as of Jan. 21.
Venezuela’s plan was to sell 29 tonnes of gold held in Caracas to the UAE by February in order to provide liquidity for imports of basic goods, a senior official said.
The bank did not immediately respond to a request to comment.
The United States, which is backing an attempt by the opposition to oust Maduro and call new elections, warned bankers and traders on Wednesday not to deal in Venezuelan gold.
U.S. Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted on Thursday that a “French national” working for Noor Capital was in Caracas “to arrange the theft of more Gold from #venezuela.”
Maduro’s government resorted to selling off gold about a year ago after falling oil production, economic collapse and mounting U.S. sanctions hit public income and made it hard for the country to access credit.
The sale of large volumes of the reserves underpinning the currency is an escalation that countries only generally resort to in the most dire financial straits.
Venezuela had gold reserves of 132 tonnes between the central bank’s vaults and the Bank of England at the end of November, according to central bank data.
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