icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
24 Jun, 2020 11:37

Venezuela in legal battle to get its gold back from Bank of England

Venezuela in legal battle to get its gold back from Bank of England

The UK’s High Court is set decide this week on the fate of Venezuela’s gold held by the Bank of England, with the Venezuelan government and the opposition fighting for the overseas bullion reserves.

Venezuela’s central bank wants the country’s gold back to battle the coronavirus outbreak, by selling it to buy medicine and equipment, as the number of infections in the country rises. Last month, it filed a claim demanding that London release more than $1 billion in gold to address the emergency situation. 

Also on rt.com Venezuela sues Bank of England for refusal to return country’s gold amid coronavirus crisis

Despite assurances from Caracas that the funds from the gold sale would be directly transferred to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to prevent it from being used for other purposes, the country’s opposition is against the returning of the precious metal to the Venezuelan government. Lawyers for the country’s self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido are reportedly insisting that he has the right to assert Venezuela’s claim to the gold held in London, as the US and its allies recognize him as the nation’s leader.

The hearing, which began in London on Monday, is set to last four days. When the process started, the lawyer representing the Maduro government called on the court to disentangle law and politics, adding that approval of a government has nothing to do with its formal recognition. 

READ MORE: Refusal to hand over Venezuelan gold means end of Britain as a financial center – Prof. Wolff

The Bank of England is the second-largest gold storage facility in the world after the New York Federal Reserve; it keeps nearly $250 billion-worth of gold owned by foreign governments, including Venezuela. Caracas has made several unsuccessful attempts to repatriate its assets from the UK, since becoming subject to US sanctions.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section