Over Four Million Toys Seized by Venezuelan Authorities
Bicycles, play sets, dolls and other toys were amongst the close to 4 million toys seized by the government of Venezuela. The toys are now going to be sold at steep discounts after a government regulator said a big toy distributor hoarded the 4 million toys in an attempt to increase the price.
Girls and boys in Venezuela will have a merry Christmas said the national superintendent for defense of socioeconomic rights William Contreras. He added that the government will guarantee that a child receives a present.
Authorities found the toys in a number of warehouses around the Caracas area owned by the company Kreisel.
As well as accusing Kreisel of making the toys scarce to increase the price, Venezuelan authorities said that the company used dollars it acquired at an exchange rate that was special for the government to purchase the products from 2008 to 2014 and stores had recently complained the distributor would not fill orders they made.
Venezuela has the world’s highest inflation rate that is estimated to be 475% and its local currency was devalued by 75% against what has been called the black dollar dating back to September, said one analyst that specializes in Latin American economies.
No public statement has been issued by Kreisel about the toy seizure, but it seems the company disagrees with the action taken by the government.
On Tweeter, Kreisel retweeted over 20 messages of solidarity and support from organizations and people, including notes accusing the government of abuse of power.
Sundde, which is the nickname for the government agency that seized the toys, said the company has used the toys as arsenal in its economic war against Venezuelans, with no regard to individual rights held by girls and boys in Venezuela.
Discussing this case, Contreras indicated that Kreisel said that its toys either had been out of date or had been sold out. The agency released videos that showed boxes of the toys stacked up in rows throughout the Kreisel warehouses
Two arrests thus far were made and the government agency said they are asking prosecutors to detain others who might have taken part in the act and could attempt to leave Venezuela.
The raid on the toys is one of a number of actions taken by the Venezuela government in an attempt to ease its poor economy. Since last month, the government had ordered steep cuts in prices of clothes as well as other items deemed essential.