Home > News > World
Sunday August 10, 2014 MYT 7:50:03 AM
Sunday August 10, 2014 MYT 7:51:26 AM
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela will close its border with neighbouring Colombia at night to prevent smuggling of heavily subsidized fuel and food, a top military officer said on Saturday.
The government will shut traffic across the border between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. starting Monday, and limit movement of cargo vehicles in border municipalities to prevent lucrative cross-border trade.
"With these measures we are increasing the mechanisms to minimize contraband," Gen. Vladimir Padrino said on state television.
Venezuela's heavy subsidies on consumer goods allow smugglers to buy up products ranging from gasoline and diesel to cooking oil and corn flour, then drive the goods across the border to Colombia, where they can be resold for a quick profit.
Padrino said the government as of July had impounded 21,000 tonnes of food that smugglers were attempting to take across the border, more than the total amount impounded in 2013. The government also has impounded 40 million litres (10.6 million gallons) of gasoline over the same period this year.
Filling the tank of a small vehicle costs about 38 cents in Venezuela, one quarter the price of a medium-sized bottle of water.
Critics say the gaping price disparities between the cost of goods in Venezuela and that of neighbouring countries means such measures are unlikely to have a long-term impact on the problem.
(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by David Gregorio)
Colombia questions Venezuela's border closure to stem smuggling
Venezuela to create fingerprinting system to limit food smuggling
Venezuela instability a risk for Colombia growth - finance minister
Cuba says Venezuela's spat with Colombia could hurt peace talks
Venezuela opposition revels in expressions of support at Oscars
France's Hollande warns against isolating Ebola-hit Guinea
Croatia PM cancels Belgrade trip over freeing of war crimes suspect
For world's police, force of the law meets the law of force
German support for sanctions on Russia rise, poll finds
France to rank cars for pollution, wants to phase out diesel fuel
Three dead in attack and Islamist protests in Egypt
EU should be able to veto national budgets - Germany's Schaeuble
Eleven more spectacular places!
Carbs more harmful than saturated fats: study
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)