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Venezuela authorities probe drug store chain amid shortages

Venezuela authorities probe drug store chain as country battles shortages, long lines

Venezuela authorities probe drug store chain amid shortages

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's largest drugstore chain says it's under investigation by price-control authorities and the intelligence service, presumably on suspicion of aggravating the country's chronic shortages.

A statement by the Farmatodo company says several executives are being questioned by the intelligence agency.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro says that opponents are behind enormous lines and panic buying of essential goods that have plagued the country, calling it an "economic war." Maduro announced Sunday that "several conspirators, owners of stores," had been arrested.

Critics blame Venezuela's complex currency control system and long delays in approving access to dollars needed to import products. All agree that Venezuela's heavy subsidies on many goods have led to large-scale smuggling to goods to nearby countries.

The Farmatodo statement published Monday says the company's actions are transparent.

Updated : 2021-09-18 23:13 GMT+08:00