Venezuela Shortages Lead Pharmacy Chain to Fingerprint Customers

A major pharmacy chain has started fingerprinting customers in Caracas, as Venezuela’s socialist government tries to halt smugglers and resellers from stocking up on scarce goods from toilet paper to medicines.
Venezuelans often spend hours in lines at stores and are furious at shoppers who scoop up items to resell on the thriving black market or in neighbouring Colombia for a hefty profit.
President Nicolás Maduro has vowed to crack down on the “bachaqueros” – a word derived from an ant that stings people and moves around leaves – and he argues fingerprinting will curb purchasing beyond permitted limits.
Luis Manuel de Llano, Farmatodo’s vice-president for corporate relations, said “All the initiatives and efforts to supply Venezuelans are valid,” . He did not say whether the chain adopted the pilot programme voluntarily or at the request of the government.



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