Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said the government needed to halt the illegal flow of gold out of the South American country and sanctions might be needed. 

"The first thing to do is to stop the illegal traffic of gold. We need to protect indigenous population. It is blood gold," Guaido said during an address to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. 

"Maybe there is a need for sanctions," he said in comments relayed through an interpreter, adding that Venezuela's neighbour Colombia was already helping.

Guaido said that other regional powers and the US should also help to stem the flow of gold out of the country.