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Colombia cracks down on gasoline smuggling

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Colombian police officer leveled his pistol and fired without warning at the tires of the oncoming truck, laden with 10,000 liters of contraband fuel from Venezuela. “The inner tire, the inner tire!” yelled the driver at his two companions, pulling over when the coast was clear.
Unscathed — this time — the smugglers continued on their dangerous journey to deliver the illegal gasoline to the thousands of small-scale streetside gasoline stands that line the main thoroughfares of every municipality throughout Colombia’s northeast border region.

Pimpineros, named after the 20-litre plastic pimpine containers in which they store their gasoline, are the streetside sellers of black market gasoline. At their makeshift stalls, homemade filtration systems sit next to neat rows of old glass bottles filled with fuel, the fading emblems of local rum and soda brands glistening in the sun.

Source: Toronto Star