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Sun Mar 29, 2020, 09:59 AM

Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sources


CARACAS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former head of Venezuela's military intelligence unit, Hugo Carvajal, is discussing his possible surrender with U.S. authorities, three people familiar with the matter said on Saturday, after prosecutors charged him this week with drug trafficking alongside Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Carvajal, a former general and ally of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has been in hiding since a Spanish court in November approved his extradition to the United States. It was unclear when or if he would surrender as the people said talks were ongoing.

One person familiar with the matter said U.S. authorities were in touch with Carvajal through a non-governmental intermediary trying to convince him to turn himself in, and there was a "50/50 chance" it would succeed.

U.S. officials have long sought Carvajal because they believe, if he is willing to cooperate, that he could provide a treasure trove of information on the alleged drug activities of Maduro and his associates.

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