Photo: Seized food in Colombia
More than 11 tons of fish, chicken and beef smuggled into Colombia from neighboring Venezuela were seized in the northeastern border province of Norte de Santander, the customs and tax police said Wednesday.
In an initial operation, authorities seized roughly eight tons of fish valued at some $32,000, in two trucks whose drivers were trying to bring the merchandise into Colombian territory illegally.
The food “was not protected in customs documents” allowing its access and “they did not have the (necessary) cold chain” to preserve it properly, according to the police statement.
In two other operations, authorities seized about three tons of chicken and beef in carcass form in the municipalities of Puerto Santander and Villa del Rosario.
Five people were arrested.
Smuggling on the border has increased because of chronic food shortages in Venezuela.
The alternative for some Venezuelan citizens is to come to the Colombian border city of Cucuta, where products from their country are resold by illegal groups.