Venezuela is going through a very well publicized financial crisis, and as a result it is reportedly seeking to get back its substantial gold reserves from the Bank of England. Reuters reports that Venezuelan authorities recently approached the institution seeking about 15 tons of gold, valued at approximately $550 million.
Experts say that the effort stems from a recent US order that bars Americans from dealing with "corrupt or deceptive" gold sales in Venezuela, a country that has long been a major seller of the precious metal all over the world. This year so far, it has reportedly sold some 26 tons of gold to Turkey for a price of about $900 million. And over the last four years, the country's gold reserves have dwindled from around 400 tons to its present state at 175 tons of gold, stats which comes from the country's own central bank.
Initial reports were unclear as to whether Venezuela has indeed taken possession of the gold reserves that were held by the Bank of England. Officials are quiet on the matter, but one public official said that the Bank of England "sought to clarify" Venezuela's intentions for the gold. And, it has since come out, that the Bank of England is indeed refusing to give the gold to Venezuela's President Maduro, for fear he might try to sell it for his own personal gain.
Whatever its intentions, it unfortunately appears that $550 million in gold won't do Venezuela much good in the long run – even having sold $900 million worth of gold this year, the country is facing an economic crisis, with rampant hyperinflation and an expected contraction of about 18 percent of the Venezuelan economy this year. The inflation, on the other hand, is expected to hit the unbelievable 1 million percent margin, as ordinary goods have long been unaffordable to many within the country.