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Venezuela dismantles medicine smuggling ring
From:新华网 | Date Add in:2018-06-08 08:00:00 [A  A]

CARACAS, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan authorities have dismantled a smuggling ring that sold price-controlled medicines on the black market for much higher profits, Attorney General Tarek William Saab said on Thursday.
The scheme was run by employees of Farmatodo, a prominent chain of pharmacies, which over an eight-month period smuggled medicines valued at 7.5 billion bolivars.
"Those who did this sought to deal a blow to the most vulnerable patients, without giving a care for anyone's health," said Saab during a press conference.
The smugglers "should be treated as highly dangerous criminals," he said, adding that "the damage caused was much greater, since they are medicines and products imported with preferential dollars."
Venezuela's government imports essential items, such as medications, at controlled exchange rates, and provides them at subsidized prices. But the disparity between domestic prices and those in neighboring countries, such as Colombia, has led to a booming smuggling business. In the past 10 months, 2,149 people have been arrested for reselling price-controlled items, smuggling, hoarding and other similar crimes. Saab's office launched the pharmaceutical investigation in October 2017, after the chain's vice president filed a complaint.

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