Venezuelan bank files legal claim with Bank of England over gold

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Coronavirus and the collapse of oil revenue have increased the economic pressure on President Maduro's government

The Central Bank of Venezuela has launched a legal claim to try and force
the Bank of England to release €930m ($1bn; £820m) worth of gold it
holds.To get more news about WikiFX, you can visit wikifx news official website.

Venezuela, already suffering under US sanctions, says it wants to use the gold's value to tackle coronavirus.

The proceedings follow a request, made weeks ago, asking for the value to be transferred to the United Nations.

Legal documents say the bank wants the transfer made “as a matter of urgency” to buy supplies like food and medicine.

The country has so far reported 618 coronavirus cases and 10 deaths.

Venezuela's economy has collapsed under the leadership of President Nicholas
Maduro, whose leadership is not recognised by dozens of nations
including the UK and the US.

Millions of people have fled the country in recent years and shortages of essentials have become
widespread.Selling off gold reserves has become an economic lifeline for
Mr Maduro's government, which is under strict international sanctions.

The legal claim was filed in a London court on 14 May.

The Central Bank of Venezuela says it wants the funds transferred to the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to administer the purchase
of supplies like medical equipment.
Media captionThe Venezuelan hospital where there's barely running water, let alone medicine

“With lives on the line, now is not the time to attempt to score political
points,” Sarosh Zaiwalla, a London-based lawyer representing the central
bank, said in a statement.

The UN told the BBC in an emailed statement only that it had been approached by the Venezuelan bank to
explore such mechanisms.

The Bank of England, which acts as a gold custodian for a number of developing nations, declined to comment
when asked about the case by the Reuters news agency.

The legal wrangling comes amid fears about ability of Venezuela's aged
healthcare system to handle a severe coronavirus outbreak.

The country has been under quarantine measures since March, when Mr Maduro declared a state of emergency.
Posted 03 Jul 2020

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