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Pirates and Hold-ups: Crime Strikes Venezuela's Oil Industry

When night falls over western Venezuela, armed gangs known as "pirates" sometimes ride boats into muggy Lake Maracaibo to steal equipment from oil wells. In the country's Paraguana peninsula, opposite the Caribbean island of Aruba, slum dwellers at times break through a perimeter wall into Venezuela's biggest refinery and rob machinery, construction tools, and cables to sell as scrap. On the other side of the OPEC country in Monagas state, around 26,000 potential...

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