Venezuela has closed its border with Colombia for 72 hours in the latest measure to combat smuggling gangs.

 

President Nicolas Maduro says the "mafia" operating on border zones are causing huge damage to the economy.

 

Many items subsidised by Venezuela's socialist government, including diesel and petrol, are sold at a huge profit over the border in Colombia, BBC reports.

 

On Sunday, he announced that the country's highest denomination bank note would be taken out of circulation.

 

President Maduro said the move would stop gangs hoarding the currency.


"Let's destroy the mafia before the mafia destroy our country and our economy," he said on national television.
"This measure was inevitable, it was necessary," he added. "The mafias will go bust."

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