Bloomberg News reports:
When Erik Prince, a major Trump donor and private security mogul, traveled to Caracas in November for secret talks with Venezuela’s vice president, he was not, it turns out, the central figure orchestrating the meetings. That person was a controversial British deal-maker by the name of Ian Hannam. Hannam, a former JPMorgan banker, arranged the trip as part of his yearlong scouting effort for possible gold investments in the crisis-battered nation, the people said.
The discussion of mining ventures with Rodriguez raises fresh questions about whether Prince, a Michigan native and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, violated U.S. law against doing business with sanctioned officials. Hannam is British and not subject to the same restrictions. The trip is part of an intense behind-the-scenes scrimmage for Venezuela’s wealth and resources as it grapples with political gridlock, international sanctions and a humanitarian crisis.
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