Man accused of smuggling 250 liters of fuel into Venezuela

Venezuela’s public prosecutor’s office said Thursday that a man was accused of smuggling 250 liters of gasoline, a fuel whose supply in the South American country occasionally fails, mainly outside the capital region.

In a press release, the fiscal unit indicated that the 35-year-old suspect was arrested this month by police in Barinas (west) state after officers received a complaint about a “clandestine sale of fuel” at a home. in this region.

During the operation, officials seized nine barrels in which the subject stored 250 liters of gasoline.

Subsequently, representatives of the Public Prosecution Service “charged the man with the crime of aggravated smuggling” and, after evaluating various elements, a court in Barinas on police command in this state ordered his arrest, the MP added in the note.

According to a study by the civil association Transparencia Venezuela and the Ecoanalítico firm, drug trafficking, extortion and the illegal trade in gold and fuel generated $9,402 million in Venezuela last year, 15.67% of gross domestic product (GDP). 2022, which by their calculations amounted to $60 billion.

The executive director of Transparencia Venezuela, Mercedes de Freitas, recently told EFE that these illegal economies, although “they are not new” in the country, where “there have always been criminal groups,” have grown and expanded as a result of the “permission and tolerance of the state’.

Last November, President Nicolás Maduro ordered security forces and institutions to “eradicate” smuggling, a crime the government is trying to eradicate with plans that include police and military operations at the borders.

Gasoline smuggling is especially important in Venezuela, where there are intermittent periods of shortages that lead to miles-long queues to refuel, times that smugglers – known as ‘bachaqueros’ – take advantage of to sell the stockpiled fuel at exorbitant prices. .

Source: El heraldo