Diesel Smugglers Detained in Venezuela

Cardon Refinery

Published Sep 15, 2015 2:41 PM by The Maritime Executive

Venezuelan authorities arrested seven people suspected of smuggling diesel aboard a tanker owned by state-owned oil company PDVSA last week. The tanker was authorized to load just 10,000 barrels of diesel fuel at Venezuela’s Cardon refinery but was discovered with 60,000 barrels.

The discovery was made in the late hours of September 7, and authorities believe the suspects intended to resell the fuel overseas.

Venezuelan smugglers are currently enjoying a thriving black market. According to reports, a tank of gasoline can be purchased for less than the equivalent of one cent. Government officials estimate that this has cost the Venezuelan government up to $12 billion in revenue.

In January, Venezuelan authorities arrested an oil ministry official charged with overseeing the domestic fuel market for alleged irregularities associated with gasoline distribution.