Venezuela Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Venezuela’s black market. Intelligence and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.

A gas smuggler in Venezuela can earn at 4,000 percent profit on a single trip when smuggling subsidized petrol from Venezuela over the border into Colombia.

A gas smuggler can buy 50 liters of gasoline for $1 in Venezuela and sell it for $40 across the border in Colombia.

Source: Girish Gupta, “World’s lowest gas prices fuel Andean smuggling,” Reuters Africa, June 10, 2011.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) identified 6 countries that engage in illegal fishing. Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, Panama, Portugal and Venezuela were all found to be committing unauthorized activities when it comes to fishing. Illegal fishing activities included fishing during closed sessions, using illegal driftnet, and fishing without proper authorization.

Source: Morgan Erikson-Davis, “Italy and Panama continue illegal fishing, says new report,”, January 15, 2011.

Half of all ships seized for drug trafficking in the Atlantic Ocean departed from Venezuela and was filled with cocaine headed towards Europe. Only 5 percent of ships trafficking cocaine were found to have departed from Colombia.

(See more facts about cocaine trafficking here.)

Source: Chris Hawley, “Venezuela drug trade booms,” USA Today, July 21, 2010.


In the first six months of 2010, authorities in Venezuela seized close to 30 metric tons of illegal drugs.

Source: Associated Press, “Venezuela captures drug suspect wanted by US,” Google News, June 24, 2010.

According to Venezuelan authorities, 60 tons of drugs was seized from the black market in Venezuela in 2009.

Source:  “Venezuela raids cocaine labs on Colombia border,” Reuters, April 22, 2010.

300 tons of cocaine was trafficked through the borders of Venezuela in 2008, according to the US.

Up to 40 percent of the cocaine from Colombia that is trafficked in Europe is believed that have passed through Venezuela.

260 tons of cocaine that was produced in the Andes was transported through Venezuela in 2007

Source:  Frank Jack Daniel, “Venezuela says radars slow Africa cocaine flights,” Reuters, September 8, 2009.

Up to $12.5 Billion worth of Colombian cocaine is shipped to Europe every year by being smuggled through Venezuela.

(More facts and information about cocaine.)

Source:  John Carlin, “Revealed: Chavez role in cocaine trail to Europe,” The Observer, February 3, 2008.

Up to 17 percent of all cocaine produced in the Andes was believed to have been smuggled through Venezuela in 2007, according to Government Accountability Report.  260 metric tons flowed through Venezuela in 2007, up from 60 metric tons in 2004.

In addition, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) contributes in moving up to 60 percent of all cocaine coming out of Colombia.


According to official statistics, there has been 166 kidnapping for ransom in Venezuela in 2009.  However, as many cases are not reported, the number of kidnappings are estimated to be up to four times higher.

Poor families are forced to give up possessions, such as refrigerator, in order to pay the ransom.


Venezuela losses 27,000 barrels of oil per day and up to $1 Billion in revenue every year to oil smuggling.