Venezuela: Maduro Using Bitcoin To Collect Airport Taxes Instead Of Petro To Circumvent US Sanctions
- Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro using Jetman Pay app to avoid US sanctions through Bitcoin
- The plan is currently being used to receive airline tax payments in the Maiquetía International Airport (IAIM)
- Currently being used at the main airport of Caraca, there are plans to further expand it to other national terminals and the port of La Guaira
A subsidiary of a Florida firm is collecting taxes with an app and diverting them to regime accounts in China, Russia, and other countries, according to an ABC investigation, a Spanish publication.
Given the sanctions imposed by the US on Venezuela, a digital application called Jetman Pay is collecting aeronautical taxes and converting them into Bitcoin and then diverting to accounts abroad.
Maduro Regime Affected By US Sanctions
This year, the US started the process to evict Nicolas Maduro from the presidency. The sanctions have been imposed on Chavism (a left-wing political ideology) and the state company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).
PDVSA is the only national company that still generates dollars or the Government of Venezuela and allows it to continue with the social missions and distribution of the food boxes to the people.
However, the company is also used to avoid the sanctions, so back in March, Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin banned, “any economic transaction linked to the US financial system with any digital currency that has been issued by the Government of Venezuela as of 2018.”
This ruling blocked all the assets of PDVSA under the US jurisdiction and further prohibited transactions from US individuals with the company. This measures directly affected Maduro’s wallet.
Using Bitcoin To Circumvent The Sanctions
Jetman Pay app, hence now being used to receive aeronautical and tourist tax payments from all of the airlines and private and cargo planes operating in the Maiquetía International Airport (IAIM).
The official press release of the app stated that,
” It will allow the IAIM to instantly bill the operational rights for airport services generated by national and international aircraft and turn the payment into bolivars and foreign currency.”
Citing airport sources, ABC said the digital application converts the payment into Bitcoin and then divert them to international exchange houses located in Russia, China, Hong Kong, and Hungary and subsequently they transfer the dollars to Venezuelan government accounts in these countries.
This entire procedure is regulated by the National Superintendence of Cryptoactives (SUNACRIP), an agency created by Maduro to launch “Petro,” which is not being used.
So far, this way of collecting taxes is being used at the main airport of Caracas, but there are plans to further expand it to other national terminals and the port of La Guaira.
Moreover, “so far this year, the Venezuelan government has not received a dollar to refill the gas tanks,” because the blocking of PDVSA accounts, said the same source.
According to information gathered by ABC, Maduro is already in negotiations to use the same Jeman Pay system to refuel. The contract will be signed shortly by Barracuda Soluciones Aeronauticas CA, a subsidiary of the North American company BCDA Aeronautical Solutions and PDVSA, it reported.