Venezuela: 28 Arrests for Price Gouging
EspañolVenezuela’s attorney general, Luisa Ortega Díaz, yesterday announced via state television channel VTV that 28 individuals are in police custody and 10 remain at large with warrants for their arrest. In addition, state agents are temporarily occupying three warehouse buildings for the alleged crime of usura, and they have deployed 50 prosecutors throughout the country to pursue additional violators.
In this instance, they are using the term “usury” to refer to charging prices above what government officials have commanded.
During a chaotic weekend of looting, alongside arrests of five managers, the central government of Venezuela tightened economic controls — particularly against hoarding, speculation, and “alterations of demand and supply conditions.”
Ortega Díaz further explained that the charges are directed at the owners and employers, not the workers, since they are simply acting on instructions. She wants employees to come forward and cooperate with the investigations, and she called for popular condemnation of the suspected incidents of looting from the managers’ own premises.
Regarding the instability and mad dash for goods in short supply, Díaz says the state will not permit destabilization and violence from the “Venezuelan right,” the political opposition to the regime.