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Geopolitical Notebook February 6th 2019

MbS

Sources

• Two Swiss bankers who know Couriol, the man behind the Venezuela gold scandal
• One former Swiss prosecutor who works as a private investigator
• Former Aramco executive
• Former British intelligence operative in GCC

What You Need To Know About Venezuela’s Gold

As we noted last week, reports emerged that someone in the UAE was cashing out Venezuela’s gold for euros, which will be used to help prop up a desperate Maduro. Now it has emerged that the latest gold-for-euros deal involved a company called Noor Capital, which has said it won’t buy any more gold from Venezuela. But there is a new twist to this brewing. The deal also involved former Credit Suisse banker Oliver Couriol. And beyond simply bailing Maduro out, there are some other suspicious elements to this deal. Couriol was also involved in a suspicious Airbus related transaction related to a gold mine in Mali. Our sources in Switzerland say that Couriol is a very low-profile financier. He has repeatedly hired reputation management firms to clean up his digital image. His specialty is exotic financial structures that involve huge amounts of physical cash—a red flag if there ever was one. He is very active in Africa, and works with politically exposed officials, including Aliou Diallo in Mali. Couriol has a Swiss lawyer trying to keep him out of trouble—a lawyer by the name of David Bitton. This affair puts the UAE in a very tense…

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