efe-epaCaracas

Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek Saab said here Wednesday that arrest warrants were issued for 11 officials of the PDVSA state oil company for committing "serious irregularities" that cost the firm $14 million.

Saab said that the first case of corruption took place on June 14, when managers of PDVSA's Orinoco Oil Belt operation "inadequately discharged and distributed naphtha" with the effect of diminishing oil production by 175,000 barrels.

"In this particular case I am mentioning, there was a loss of $11,375,000 because of oil that was not produced," the attorney general said.

Saab said that the other event took place on June 16-17, when "serious mistakes regarding the loading of two oil tankers" were registered.

This produced "losses of $2,733,780, because PDVSA had to compensate the customer by lowering the price of the oil," Saab said.

According to Saab, the 11 officials were charged with "damaging the oil industry, embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a crime."

The attorney general said he was working on four other corruption cases that would be revealed soon, adding that "with these 11 detained persons, 90 PDVSA officials have been jailed for corruption."