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MEXICO CITY — The FBI is probing several Mexican and European companies allegedly involved in trading Venezuelan oil as it gathers information for a U.S. Treasury Department inquiry into possible sanctions busting, according to four people familiar with the matter.
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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams told reporters late last month the State and Treasury departments were investigating whether several firms were violating sanctions imposed on Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA since January 2019.
The sanctions are part of a campaign by Washington to strangle the revenues of President Nicolas Maduro, which has failed to break his grip on power. U.S. officials say privately that is a source of frustration for President Donald Trump, whose administration has tightened the implementation of sanctions in recent months.
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