Navy bribery fugitive ‘Fat Leonard’ seeks Venezuelan asylum

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The fugitive defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard&#8221 who orchestrated a substantial bribery scheme involving dozens of U.S. Navy officers, has requested asylum in Venezuela, a regulation enforcement formal mentioned Monday, just about a 7 days just after he was captured in the South American nation.

Leonard Glenn Francis slipped absent from residence arrest in San Diego on Sept. 4, only weeks right before he was to be sentenced. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the fact he was not permitted to converse to the press about the shut proceedings, did not offer any added aspects about the Malaysian businessman&#8217s moves. By law the Venezuelan governing administration will have to take into consideration the asylum ask for.

Francis owned Singapore-based mostly Glenn Protection Marine Asia Ltd. or GDMA, that supplied food stuff, drinking water and gas to vessels for many years. He has acknowledged overbilling the U.S. Navy by $35 million with the enable of dozens of U.S. naval officers whom he plied with prostitutes, Kobe beef, cigars and other bribes so they would immediate their ships to ports Francis managed in the Pacific in Southeast Asia.

Francis, recognized for his vast girth and large temperament, pleaded responsible in 2015 and faced up to 25 many years in prison. Although awaiting sentencing, he was specified dwelling confinement in San Diego to get healthcare treatment as he cooperated with the prosecution, which led to the convictions of 33 of 34 defendants.

U.S. and Venezuelan officers claimed that Francis slash off his ankle watch, fled to Mexico and then produced his way to Cuba right before turning up in Venezuela. He was arrested there Tuesday ahead of he boarded a flight at the Simon Bolivar Worldwide Airport exterior Caracas. Venezuelan officials have explained he meant to reach Russia.

Venezuela and the United States have an extradition agreement, though the Biden administration does not officially realize President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist govt, has no embassy in Venezuela and has imposed crushing sanctions on the place that have further more embittered relations.

U.S. authorities have 30 times to formally request his extradition. In an e mail, a Office of Justice spokesperson has stated that the company does not comment on extradition-linked matters.

The U.S. attorney&#8217s workplace did not instantly answer to an e-mail in search of remark about Francis&#8217 ask for for asylum in Venezuela.


Goodman claimed from Miami.

Joshua Goodman And Julie Watson, The Connected Push

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