US offers $15m reward for Venezuelan President Maduro arrest

By: AFP      Published: 09:06 PM, 26 Mar, 2020
US offers $15m reward for Venezuelan President Maduro arrest

The United States will offer $15 million for information leading to the arrest of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on drug-trafficking charges, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday.

Pompeo announced the reward as the Justice Department unveiled charges against Maduro, describing him like a common criminal rather than a head of state as Washington tries to help opposition leader Juan Guaido take power.

"The Venezuelan people deserve a transparent, responsible, representative government that serves the needs of the people -- and that does not betray the trust of the people by condoning or employing public officials that engage in illicit narcotics trafficking," Pompeo said in a statement.

Meanwhile, The US Justice Department announced indictments Thursday of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and top members of his government for "narco-terrorism."

US officials said Maduro was the leader of a cocaine trafficking group called "The Cartel of the Suns" that involved senior politicians and members of the Venezuelan military and judiciary, including the country's chief justice.

Attorney General Bill Barr said they shipped out 200- to 250 metric tonnes of cocaine under the protection of the Venezuelan government.