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Venezuelan Oppn investigating alleged graft by govt officials

Venezuela's opposition-controlled legislature is investigating 89 alleged cases of corruption involving current and former government officials amounting to USD 69 billion dollars,  lawmaker Freddy Guevara has said.

"It's possible to buy basic necessities for 900 million people with that money," he said on Thursday. "It can feed the entire country for 30 years."  Guevara is chairman of the National Assembly's comptroller committee, which conducts inquiries into financial dealings.

He brought up Venezuela's major shortages of food and medicine, the result of a severe economic crisis wracking the country thanks to the drop in global prices for oil, the main national export.
The money has been deposited into accounts abroad, Guevara said, adding that the goal is to "locate where it is" and "repatriate it." 

The investigation is examining several sectors, including food and health, as well as irregularities linked to Venezuela's tight currency controls since 2003. Illegal foreign exchange transactions have siphoned off some USD 60 billion, Guevara said. 
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