HomeNewsBriefFuel Trafficking Costs Honduras $230 Mn per Year
BRIEF

Fuel Trafficking Costs Honduras $230 Mn per Year

CONTRABAND / 27 SEP 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

Honduras is losing $230 million per year in revenues because of fuel smuggling, a practice driven by criminal groups capitalizing on Venezuela’s fuel subsidies.

According to Honduran Minister of Industry and Trade Adonis Lavaire, illegally imported fuel costs the country the equivalent of ten percent of its annual fuel imports, which he said stand at $2.3 billion, reported El Heraldo

On September 26, the Honduran navy reported capturing a boat carrying 40,000 gallons of illegal fuel headed for the Caribbean coastal town of Puerto Castilla, having apparently departed from the island of Curacao.

The haul takes Honduras’ total illegal fuel recoveries to 190,000 gallons in less than a week, after a ship originating in Venezuela was captured off the country’s Caribbean island of Roatan carrying 150,000 gallons.

According to Proceso, the fuel originates in Venezuela, where it is produced and where government subsidies make it lucrative for criminal bands to smuggle the product to other countries.

InSight Crime Analysis

As reported by Proceso, Honduras has been particularly vulnerable to fuel smuggling since the 2009 ousting of former President Manuel Zelaya, which saw the country suspended from Petrocaribe — an alliance between Venezuela and various Caribbean nations which provides members with subsidized Venezuelan fuel.  Large hauls of illegal fuel have already been recovered this year and while in August it was reported that Honduras would begin receiving subsidized fuel again in September, as Proceso reports, so far none has arrived.

This leaves Honduras open to organized criminal groups importing cheap fuel, with Proceso reporting that they also tamper with the product so that vehicles and machinery end up damaged. Mexico is also an important point of origin for illegal fuel destined for Honduras and Mexican cartels are known to be involved in the activity.

Venezuela has a particular problem with fuel theft, something which it pledged to combat this year, however with contraband fuel pouring over the border into Colombia, as well as out to sea, and with corruption deeply ingrained in Venezuelan security forces, how it will effectively address the situation remains unclear.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America's largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EXTRADITION / 10 OCT 2016

Five members of the weakened Valles drug trafficking organization are facing extradition to the United States, highlighting the Honduran government's…

BRAZIL / 3 MAY 2012

Brazil has deployed 8,700 troops to the northern Amazon frontier, its fourth ambitious border crackdown in less than a year.

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 27 JUN 2013

Security forces have arrested three Venezuelans who are allegedly members of the Urabeños, suggesting Colombia's most feared drug traffickers may…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…