A little-known Moscow-based bank actively participated in the crowdsale of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency El Petro as a payment partner. Its parent companies are famous Russian government-backed banks.

Potential investors who registered on the El Petro website and installed the crypto wallets were offered to buy national cryptocurrency by transfering at least €1,000 to the account in the Russian Eurofinance Mosnarbank, Associated Press reports. 49% of the bank's shares belong to the Venezuelan government since 2011. 51% is controlled by Russian banks Gazprombank and VTB, which were included in sanction lists of the United States and European Union after Russia's annexation of Crimea. Evrofinance Mosnarbank assets account to about $800 million.

Representatives of the bank did not respond to the AP's requests, but after The Associated Press' inquiries, all references to the bank were removed from the petro's wallet.

As the AP notes, all this is further evidence of the important role that Russia played in the process of creating and launching El Petro cryptocurrency, aimed at circumventing US sanctions.

Earlier, Time magazine published a material about two Russian advisors to President Nicolas Maduro, Denis Druzhkov and Fyodor Bogorodsky. As it turned out, Druzhkov is also a co-founder of the Zeus Exchange trading platform. Another Zeus founder is Sergey Litvin, who is also a member of Stroytransgaz executive board. This company is already controlled by one of Russian president Vladimir Putin's closest friends, Gennady Timchenko. But after the article was published, Litvin was removed from the list of Stroytransgaz executive board on its website. Furthermore, Zeus exchange announced that it never had any partnerships with the government of Venezuela, and that Druzhkov carried out technical expertise of El Petro as a private person and after that was fired due to corporate ethics violations. 

According to the ICOindex.com rating, El Petro is a fraudulent project.