Venezuela’s crypto regulator, targeted with $5 million bounty, removed from office
Joselit Ramirez, supreme authority on cryptocurrency policy in Venezuela, has been removed from his position by none other than the President of the Republic, Nicolas Maduro.
According to an Official Gazette published by the Venezuelan government on March 17, the action affects not only Ramirez, but also a significant part of the institution’s management, as it requires a comprehensive restructuring of the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (SUNACRIP) ).
Although President Maduro has not issued an official statement and the government has not given reasons for Ramirez’s dismissal, the rumor that has gained the most traction is his alleged involvement in corrupt activities, which Decrypt have not been able to verify.
These rumors find some traction given that the measure was announced a day after the National Anti-Corruption Police issued a request for legal proceedings against “a number of citizens who may be involved in serious acts of administrative corruption and embezzlement of funds.”
Analysis of the SUNACRIP restructuring decree can similarly support such theories. President Maduro declared “that it is the duty of the state to take all the measures at its disposal to protect the Venezuelan people from the negative effects of the multiple aggression that is taking place against the country and especially against its economy.”
The decree adds that the function of the administration “will tend towards the rational use of human, material and budgetary resources.”
To coordinate the restructuring of SUNACRIP, a mixed commission was established, consisting of a president and four directors approved by Maduro that will be overseen by the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Trade.
The new national superintendent of crypto-assets and related activities is Anabel Pereira Fernandez, who has a career as president of the Social Protection Fund of Bank Deposits (Bailiff) and the head of the supervision of institutions in the banking sector Venezuela (South railway), among other positions.
Joselit Ramirez and SUNACRIP
Joselit Ramirez assumed her position in June 2018, replacing Carlos Vargasa former congressman and member of the opposition party Un Nuevo Tiempowhich the government tasked with coordinating the creation of the national cryptocurrency “Petro”.
Carlos Vargas and Joselit Ramírez. Picture
Known for its political ties to Tareck El Aissami—Sectoral Vice President of the Economy and current Minister of Popular Power for Petroleum in the country – Ramirez was responsible for the installation of the National Crypto Assets System and promoting the legal framework that governs the cryptocurrency ecosystem in Venezuela, as well as its supplementary regulations.
Like El Aissami, Ramirez is currently requested by US authorities for his alleged participation in a smuggling scheme coordinated by high-ranking members of the Venezuelan government. The US government is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest.