Venezuelan ex-electric chief among 2 indicted in US

The same man who ran Venezuela's electricity ministry during recent blackouts has been charged with US money laundering.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently replaced  Luis Alfredo Motta as electricity minister after a series of blackouts struck the country earlier this year. [Marco Bello/Reuters]
    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently replaced Luis Alfredo Motta as electricity minister after a series of blackouts struck the country earlier this year. [Marco Bello/Reuters]

    Authorities say two former Venezuelan officials have been indicted on US money laundering charges, including the South American country's ex-minister for electricity.

    The Miami US attorney's office said in a news release on Thursday that 60-year-old Luis Alfredo Motta Dominguez faces seven counts of money laundering and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

    Prosecutors say Motta and 55-year-old Eustiquio Jose Lugo Gomez awarded $60m in contracts to three Florida-based companies in return for bribes, most of which were laundered through South Florida financial institutions. Lugo was procurement director at Venezuela's state-run Corpoelec.

    Authorities say the two are not in US custody. It was not clear on Thursday if they had US lawyers to represent them.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently replaced Motta as electricity minister after a series of blackouts struck the country earlier this year.

    SOURCE: Reuters