US immigration agency names Venezuelan minister among ‘most wanted’

United States immigration officials have added Venezuelan government minister Tareck El Aissami, a suspected drug smuggler, to their list of most wanted fugitives, they said Wednesday.

“Have you seen this #mostwanted #fugitive?,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) posted on its Twitter account, alongside a picture of the industry minister and former deputy to President Nicolas Maduro.

“He’s wanted for international narcotics trafficking.”

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US federal authorities in March charged El Aissami with drug trafficking and dodging sanctions imposed by Washington.

If he is arrested and extradited El Aissami could face up to 30 years in prison.

The US designated El Aissami in February 2017 as having played “a significant role in international narcotics trafficking.”

“In his previous positions, he oversaw or partially owned narcotics shipments of more than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) from Venezuela on multiple occasions, including those with the final destinations of Mexico and the United States,” ICE said on its website.

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