December 7, 2011 / 6:29 PM / 7 years ago

Panama police warns of virus in false Chavez email

NEW YORK , Dec 7 (Reuters) - An email circulating among Internet users that claims Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez has died is false and carries a computer virus, the national police of Panama said on its website on Wednesday.

Chavez was most recently seen in public on Tuesday in Caracas where he gave a long news conference.

"Don't open the email that says 'Death of Hugo Chavez.' It is false and carries a virus that can damage your computer," Panama's police said on its website (www.policia.gob.pa/) and in a message sent out on Twitter.

Venezuelan officials repeatedly deny rumors about Chavez’s death, accusing political opponents of spreading them maliciously. The president was robust and garrulous during a three-hour news conference on Tuesday to mark the 13th anniversary of his election victory.

Rumors that Chavez was dead were circulating in financial markets on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Panama’s police confirmed that the warning about the false email had been issued by the police department.

(Reporting by Walter Brandimarte and Manuela Badawy; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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