Merida, December 6th, 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On Saturday Venezuelan police arrested Arne Chacon, bank president and brother of Chavez’s minister for science and technology, Jesse Chacon, for his supposed involvement in financial crimes.
The move comes as part of a government crackdown on banking executives involved in crime and banking law infractions, following the nationalisation of two banks, Confederado and Bolivar Bank on Thursday, and the liquidation of two others, Banpro and Canarias, earlier this week.
The Superintendent of Banks is also investigating three other small banks, Banco Real, of which Arne Chacon is president, and Baninvest, and Central Banco Universal.
The main shareholder of four of the banks, Ricardo Fernandez, a known supporter of Chavez, was also arrested two weeks ago and the Public Prosecutor has issued ten other arrest warrants for banking executives and 19 prohibitions on leaving the country.
Today Jesse Chacon resigned from his position to guarantee transparency in the investigations of his brother, President Hugo Chavez announced on his weekly show, Alo Presidente.
“Jesse [Chacon] has taught us a lesson,” Chavez said, “He’s not going to get involved as a minister; the investigation is going to continue.”
Chavez said he didn’t want to accuse anyone, but, “it hasn’t been explained how Arne [Chacon] went from being a poor person like us to president of a bank.”
“If anything’s failing, it’s the radars… the party can’t get fat,” Chavez said, encouraging members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), to denounce any such corruption.
The four nationalised and liquidated banks had 750,000 depositors and encompassed less than 10% of the financial market. Those with deposits in the banks are protected by the Deposit Guarantee and Banking Protection Fund (FOGADE).