Zaiwalla & Co has been instructed by the authority of Central Bank of Venezuela's (BCV) current management to issue a claim against the Bank of England (BOE) for the release of USD $1 billion of Venezuela’s gold reserves to help the country combat COVID-19.
The United Nations has identified Venezuela as a priority country in the global fight against COVID-19, since it has a fragile healthcare system. The country is suffering from crippling poverty, exacerbated by heavy sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the United States in 2019 and the dramatic fall in world oil prices, the nation's leading export commodity.
BCV wrote to the BOE in April 2020 requiring USD $1 billion of its gold reserves to be transferred directly to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) working to alleviate the spread of COVID-19. The BOE refused to confirm it would act on instructions on the basis that it does not recognise the authority of the current management of the BCV and the Venezuelan Government.
Sarosh Zaiwalla, partner at Zaiwalla & Co, commented the BoE’s “foot dragging” was hampering Venezuela’s efforts to fight the viral outbreak. “The Bank of England has a moral imperative to allow Venezuela to sell the country’s gold to allow the UNDP to effectively assist the Venezuelan population in the fight against Covid-19,” he said.
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