(Bloomberg) -- Chile’s government rejected allegations that it had given Venezuelan authorities the green light to kidnap a former member of their armed forces from his home in Santiago.

“That is an absolute lie,” Chile’s Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, told reporters Monday.

The Venezuelan newspaper La Razon reported over the weekend that Alexander Gramko, head of Venezuela’s General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence, had asked the government’s cooperation to arrest Ronald Ojeda during talks over an accord to share information to combat organized crime earlier this year. The paper didn’t say where it go the information and Venezuela’s government has denied any involvement. 

Ojeda fled from Venezuela in 2017 after being arrested for allegedly plotting to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro. He was given refugee status in Chile in 2023, but was kidnapped Feb. 21 from his apartment in Santiago by persons disguised as detectives. 

The fact that no ransom has been asked and the speed by which the fake agents took him has led many to speculate that it was an intelligence operation. Chile’s police force is investigating the events and the government has refrained from giving more information.

On Jan. 18, Venezuela and Chile signed a criminal investigation agreement to fight against international crime organizations. Before departing for Caracas, Monsalve said the aim of the meeting was to “exchange information” on “people who eventually may be a risk to the security” of both countries, according to a Chile government statement. 

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