Venezuelan Smugglers Defy Crackdown Drawn by Huge Profits

March 18, 2015 4:07 PM

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In a warehouse at the edge of this city near Venezuela's western border, the load of valuable contraband sits in boxes ready to be shuttled the few miles (kilometers) into Colombia where it will fetch an impressive profit.

This impending shipment is a household staple: rice. The next one could be tomato sauce, toothpaste, flour or shaving blades — whatever the band of smugglers is able to buy cheaply at Venezuela's controlled prices and then ship out for resale.

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