CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan authorities have arrested two toy company executives and seized almost four million toys, which they say they will distribute to the poor.
Officials accused the company, Kreisel, of hoarding toys and hiking prices in the run-up to Christmas, the BBC reported.
Venezuela’s consumer protection agency, Sundde, said Kreisel had stockpiled the goods and was reselling them at a margin of up to 50,000 percent.
“Our children are sacred, we will not let them rob you of Christmas,” Sundde said in a tweet, along with photos and video of thousands of boxes of toys.
In total, 3,821,926 toys were seized from two warehouses and would be sold at low prices, Sundde said.
William Contreras, head of Sundde, said Kreisel had claimed the toys were old or discontinued. The agency also posted photos of the two executives being marched from the premises by a squad of heavily armed soldiers.
The Venezuelan government is becoming increasingly unpopular as the country’s economic crisis grows.
The International Monetary Fund estimates that inflation will hit 2,000 percent next year.
Venezuela is ready to issue new, higher-value notes to deal with the problem, but rising prices are still squeezing many ordinary citizens.
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