Report: Maduro's scheme to avoid US sanctions - bitcoin and airport taxes

Posted 26 July, 2019

The Spanish media ABC has carried out an investigation which showed that Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro can use bitcoin instead of El Petro in the airport of the country as a way to avoid Washington's sanctions. The report was released this week.

It was discovered that Maduro reportedly implemented an automated system for air tax collection via Jetman Pay application in the Maiquetia Simon Bolivar International Airport. Once taxes are paid, they are converted in bitcoins and got out of the country. It is possible that the funds are moved to exchanges in Hongkong, Hungary, China and Russia, where they are exchanged in fiat and kept on accounts run by Venezuela's government.

There are rumours that Maduro has plans to launch such a scheme in other airports of the country. Moreover, air taxes can be joined with so-called fees for refuelling of transit flights.

Bitcoin has become quite popular in Venezuela, compared to El Petro on deep recession in the country.

According to the report, the contract with Jetman Pay is yet to be signed. However, the scheme suggests the following: a plane that lands in the mentioned airport will transfer fiats for refuelling, while the national oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA will pay taxes via the application, which will transfer bitcoins to overseas platforms.

For reference, automated taxation in the Maiquetia Simon Bolivar International Airport was launched in February 2018.

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