40 Percent Decrease in Smuggling, 232 Arrests Mark Venezuelan Effort Against Contraband

Since the decision to close the 2,200 km border between Venezuela and Colombia at night went into effect on August 12, Zulia state has seen a 40 percent decrease in contraband, General Major Vladimir Padrino López reported earlier today.

By SASCHA BERCOVITCH
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In Zulia alone this year, authorities have recovered 127,613 tons of food and 259,151 liters of fuel, in addition to 106 vehicles connected to transporting contraband (Ultimas Noticias).
In Zulia alone this year, authorities have recovered 127,613 tons of food and 259,151 liters of fuel, in addition to 106 vehicles connected to transporting contraband (Ultimas Noticias).

Caracas, August 29th 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Since the decision to close the 2,200 km border between Venezuela and Colombia at night went into effect on August 12, Zulia state has seen a 40 percent decrease in contraband, General Major Vladimir Padrino López reported earlier today.

López said the statistic came from authorities in Colombia, where subsidized food and gasoline are brought for resale at significantly higher prices.

In Zulia alone this year, authorities have recovered 127,613 tons of food and 259,151 liters of fuel, in addition to 106 vehicles connected to transporting contraband.

Meanwhile, in Táchira, another border state, authorities have detained 67 individuals connected with smuggling, including 21 members of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB). The FANB is the organization charged with monitoring border activity and detecting contraband efforts.

"Regardless of who the perpetrators are, they will be subject to the order of the courts of our Republic, and they will be held accountable for their criminal behavior," government official Efraín Velasco Lugo said earlier today.

The arrests bring the total number of detentions to 232 since the border closing, according to Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz.

“The FANB and the Venezuelan state have made great efforts to prevent the trafficking and transit of goods,” Díaz said. “We cannot allow these officials to facilitate these actions – those who have the obligation to protect our country, to ensure that merchandise is not smuggled,” she stated.