Venezuelan Oil Held Hostage to Pay Shipping Debts

Apr 20, 2017

Despite formerly close ties between Russia and its communist leader Hugo Chavez, a state run Russian shipping company has commandeered a Venezuelan oil tanker and is holding it hostage for over $30 million in unpaid shipping fees.

Russia's shipper Sovcomflot sued the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, which is in dire financial condition. Most of the oil revenue is taken by the Maduro government to make up for steadily declining tax revenues in an economy that has gone bust due to rocketing inflation.

The dispute is being heard by the United Kingdom Admiralty Court, and isn’t the only case involving Venezuela and its debts.