The United States on Friday offered a $10 million reward for the arrest on money laundering charges of an associate of a businessman whose extradition infuriated Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro.

Alvaro Pulido, who is Colombian, has been indicted alongside Alex Saab on allegations they ran a network that exploited food aid destined for impoverished Venezuelans and moved $350 million into foreign accounts.

The West African island nation of Cape Verde earlier this month extradited Saab to the United States, enraging Maduro who suspended dialogue with the US-backed opposition.

The State Department said it was offering $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Pulido.

"Pulido and his co-conspirators allegedly marked-up the cost of producing the boxes of food in order to make a personal profit from their production," an announcement said.

A man stands next to graffiti reading "#FreeAlexSaab" in Caracas on September 10, 2021 A man stands next to graffiti reading "#FreeAlexSaab" in Caracas on September 10, 2021 Photo: AFP / Yuri CORTEZ

Pulido and four others were slapped with new charges over the scheme that were unveiled Thursday by a federal grand jury in Florida.

If convicted, Pulido and the others could each face up to 100 years in prison, according to the Justice Department.

Venezuela's opposition has described Saab as a frontman doing shady dealings for Maduro, a left-wing populist whose nation has fallen into economic despair.

sct/mdo