Smuggling grows all along Misiones border with Paraguay
Lawmakers of the ruling Frente de Todos (FdT) in the Argentine province of Misiones have filed an proposal to fight the smuggle of fuel and other items across the Paraguayan border, which is said to be growing daily in drums and also on small barges across the river.
Although on the dry border of Bernardo de Irigoyen, the action of the security forces led to the lifting of positions for the clandestine resale of gasoline and diesel for foreign citizens, in other towns bordering Paraguay, fuel smuggling is uncontrollable, Puerto Iguazú councilman Santiago Mansilla, who authored the project, told the website surtidores.com.ar.
Mansilla spoke of a domino effect throughout the province, particularly at Puerto Iguazú, where the price of Argentine fuel is 50% cheaper than that in the two neighboring countries thanks to the current exchange rate, thus bringing in scores of both Brazilians and Paraguayans to tank up and benefit from their stronger guaranís and reais against the Argentine peso.
Local petrol stations were overwhelmed by foreign customers during the long year-end weekend and their supplies were exhausted, leaving some locals without their share of fuel. Hence, local businesses are pressing for the province to add a tax to the retail price of fuel or find any other way to make these trips not quite as profitable so as to discourage these practices.
National Macrist Deputy Alfredo Schiavoni has requested the Executive to report on the measures it plans to enact to guarantee the proper supply of fuel to the people of Misiones.
In addition to fuel, wines, champagne, beer, energizers and whiskey, personal hygiene items, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals are said to be smuggled on a daily basis.
According to the local newspaper Primera Edición, soybeans and other types of grains easily go through customs. However, many of these shipments were seized in the area of El Soberbio, Alba Posse and other nearby towns. Argentine Coast Guard forces have seized 110 bags of soybeans weighing around 5 and a half tons.