Maduro is attempting to repatriate at least 14 tonnes of gold the BoE is currently storing, the British newspaper The Times and Reuters reported citing unnamed sources.
Another official told Reuters anonymously that this gold repatriation attempt by Maduro has been a two-month ordeal, noting that it has been difficult to get insurance for such a large gold shipment.
Reports of Maduro’s attempt at gold repatriation follows the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last week to introduce a new round of sanctions against Venezuela, which bans U.S. citizens from making deals with anyone involved in “corrupt or deceptive” gold sales from Venezuela.
Gold repatriation is not new for Venezuela, with Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chávez already bringing home around 160 tonnes of gold from American and European banks back in 2011.
Turkey has been one of the principal buyers of Venezuela’s gold, according to American officials, who claim that Turkey has been selling that gold to Iran despite U.S. sanctions against the country.