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Venezuela money laundering: 5 arrested in case said to involve opposition politicians

The politicians believed to be involved are Carabobo Governor Henrique Salas Feo and Nueva Esparta Governor Morel Rodriguez.

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Hugo Chavez salutes his people. (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)

Five people have been arrested in a drug money laundering case in Venezuela, and there is suspicion opposition politicians are involved in the scheme.

The money-laundering network, which is said to include the secretary of the opposition party, was allegedly "committed to launder $2 million," Venezuela's Minister of the Interior Tareck Al Aissami said to Colombia Reports. Evidence has shown the total might be closer to $10 million.

"This network operated from several states in the country and used several companies and individuals who served as a cover to legitimize these currencies by introducing bolivars [Venezuela's currency] from illegal markets into the national economic system," said Al Aissami.

The politicians believed to be involved are Carabobo Governor Henrique Salas Feo and Nueva Esparta Governor Morel Rodriguez, according to the Associated Press.

Salas Feo denied the accusation on Twitter, calling it a part of a "dirty war" trying to take attention away from accusations made by former Supreme Court judge Eladio Aponte against government officials. Rodriguez agreed with Salas Feo, saying the justice minister's allegations are "absurd and reckless," according to the AP.

Warrants have also been issued for the owners of the companies that allegedly took part in the laundering scheme, according to Colombia Reports. The money involved is said to be a part of the Colombian and US drug trade.

More from GlobalPost: Eladio Aponte: Venezuela seeks arrest of judge fired for alleged link to drug suspect

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/venezuela/120425/venezuela-money-laundering-5-arrested-opposition-politicians