Venezuela arrests ex-securities commission chief

Venezuela said it arrested the former president of its National Securities Commission, the capital markets regulator.

Venezuela arrests ex-securities commission chief
Venezuela said on Saturday it arrested the former president of its National Securities Commission, the capital markets regulator, in a widening criminal probe into seven small private banks shuttered by authorities last week.

Antonio Marquez, arrested on Thursday, was charged with financial crimes including complicity in misappropriating funds, the Prosecutor's Office said.

The seven banks shut down last week accounted for about 8 percent of Venezuela's deposits. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he acted to stamp out corruption and safeguard depositors.

The government on Friday shut another bank, saying it was unable to cover short-term obligations.

Marquez was removed from his post at the commission on Tuesday, state-owned newspaper El Correo del Orinico reported.

The commission, known as CNV, said on Thursday the government had named Tomas Sanchez as the new president. Sanchez was part of a panel overseeing the liquidation of Banco Canarias, shut last week for irregularities in capital increases, it said.

The government has arrested nine people in addition to Marquez and barred 15 others from leaving the country in cases related to the seven banks, the Prosecutor's Office said.

Roughly equivalent to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the CNV oversees brokerages, investment advisers, companies issuing securities and the stock market.

Separately, the president's office said on Thursday that Interpol has arrest warrants out for nine people linked to the closed banks. It said they are wanted on suspicion of bank fraud.


Reuters
Last Mod: 13 Aralık 2009, 10:42
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