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Jan 14 2019

Turkey set to refine more Venezuelan gold as Maduro sends committee

A committee from Venezuela is set to arrive in Turkey to discuss a gold refining deal between Ankara and Caracas, pro-government Yeni Şafak daily reported.

The group sent by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will visit Turkey’s central province of Çorum, where it’s looking to conduct bilateral trade talks and refine thousands of tons of Venezuelan gold as part of an inspection of Turkey’s gold refining facilities, the newspaper said.

The delegation arrives as  Turkey continues to set up joint ventures with the Venezuelan government for gold and coal exploration and has started investing in the country’s oil industry.

Venezuela’s central bank began refining gold in Turkey in 2018. Gold, worth $834 million in the first 7 months of 2018 alone, is being shipped to Turkey for refinement and procession, with U.S. officials alleging that some may be making its way onto Iran in a violation of sanctions.

In November, the United States announced sanctions against U.S. citizens from dealing with entities or individuals involved with “corrupt and deceptive” gold deals from the country, in a move to curb the inflation-ravaged country’s exports.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan in December criticized U.S. sanctions on Venezuela during a visit to Caracas.

Turkey remains one of Venezuela’s main gold customers.