The Bank of England has blocked Nicolas Maduro’s officials from withdrawing $1.2 billion worth of gold, Bloomberg reported, dealing a further blow to the embattled Venezuelan President as he tries to salvage his authority.
However, Maduro fired back at the European demand in an interview with CNN Turk.
CNN has not been able to independently verify the report and is attempting to get a response from Maduro’s officials.
Guaido, who is also head of the opposition-led National Assembly, has called for nationwide anti-government protests to take place this week.
On Saturday, the UK joined the US and a host of other countries by saying it would recognize Guaidó as the country’s interim President if new elections were not called within the next eight days.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States in saying that the National Assembly and its President Juan Guaidó are best placed to lead Venezuela to the restoration of its democracy, its economy and its freedom,” said UK Minister of State Alan Duncan.
In a statement, the Bank of England said Saturday that it provides gold custody services to a large number of customers, but it does not comment on those relationships.
“In all its operations, the Bank observes the highest standards of risk management and abides by all relevant legislation, including applicable financial sanctions,” the statement said.
The US Treasury Department said in a statement Friday it plans to use economic and diplomatic tools to ensure any commercial transactions with the Venezuelan government are “consistent” with the US-recognized government of Venezuela led by Juan Guaidó.
CNN’s Simon Cullen contributed to this report.