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Ex-Venezuela Official Flees to Aid U.S. in Corruption Probe

  • Ex-oil ministry official Urdaneta expected to appear in Miami
  • A meeting with U.S. federal agents at Colombia border

Photographer: Diego Giudice/Bloomberg

A former Venezuelan oil official fled the country and is talking to U.S. authorities about aiding their investigation of a high-level corruption scheme that helped plunge the oil-rich nation into an economic meltdown.

Carmelo Urdaneta Aqui, a onetime legal counsel to the country’s powerful oil ministry, will appear in a Miami federal courthouse to face money laundering charges, according to a person familiar with the matter. He is expected to be arraigned as soon as Monday on the charges, which were brought against him and several other well-connected Venezuelans in 2018, according to a person briefed on the discussions.