Mysterious Turkish Company Helped Maduro Sell $900 Million In Gold

Friday, February 8, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Fri, 02/08/2019

Venezuelan Dictator Nicolas Maduro sold off some 40% of Venezuela’s gold reserves last year as he struggled to keep his floundering government afloat, according to Bloomberg.

But with the noose of US sanctions growing ever tighter, Maduro struggled to find buyers. Which is where a mysterious Turkish gold broker came into play.

In a report published Friday, Bloomberg revealed the role played by Sardes, a Turkish gold broker with just $1 million in assets, which sprang into existence shortly after Maduro visited Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Founded in January 2018, Sardes quickly saw the volume of gold it was handling explode. Shortly after it opened for business, Sardes imported $41 million of Venezuelan gold – the first such transaction involving Turkey and Venezuela in more than 50 years. The following month, it imported $100 million more.

By the time President Trump signed an order approving sanctions on the Venezuelan gold trade in November, Sardes had imported a total of $900 million of gold from the vaults of the failing socialist nation’s central bank. That amounts to about 24 tons of gold.

About 24 tons of the gold was sold to Istanbul’s Sardes Kiymetli Madenler SA, according to Paparoni. The company got regulatory approval to operate as a member of Borsa Istanbul’s Precious Metals Market on Dec. 26, 2017, just days after signing its first contract with Venezuela’s central bank, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg. A company official declined to comment.

And in a sign that the Venezuela crisis could lead to renewed tensions between the US and Turkey, BBG pointed out that this isn’t the first time this has happened. It’s also the latest sign that Turkey under Erdogan has unequivocally sided with China and Russia in opposing US interests…

It’s not the first time that Turkey has positioned itself as a work-around for countries facing U.S. sanctions, potentially undermining Washington’s efforts to isolate governments it considers hostile or corrupt. Ankara has often tested the boundaries of U.S. tolerance, and the alliance between the key NATO members is now essentially broken, according to two senior U.S. officials.

The Rest…HERE

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