Venezuela: Three ships detained for suspected fuel smuggling

Venezuelan navy has seized three vessels suspected of being involved in smuggling of diesel from the country’s Paraguana peninsula, according to local reports.

Oil taker Negra Hipolita, owned by Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, was found to be loaded with an excess load of 50,000 barrels of diesel fuel at the Cardon refinery, an official reportedly said.

The remaining two tankers included Panama-flagged by vessel Mario G, chartered by PDVSA, and Paola Valentina, as both ships had in excess of 15,000 litres of fuel attempted of being smuggled.

Nine people are said to have been detained by the navy in connection with the incident while investigation has commenced.

The move comes as the Venezuelan government pushes to curb fuel smuggling and corruption activities in its oil and gas sector.

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