Venezuela seizes Smurfit Kappa plant

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Mike Ellis / Smurfit Kappa

The Venezuelan government has seized control of a plant belonging to Smurfit Kappa, the Irish packaging company has confirmed.

On 21 August, the plant was seized and two managers were arrested.

Venezuela claims that Smurfit Kappa engaged in price speculation, smuggling and refusing to sell to local businesses.

It has demanded that the Irish firm immediately adjust all prices for its products.

The seizure of the plant will last for 90 days.

Smurfit Kappa said in a statement that it had operated its Venezuelan operations “to the highest business and ethical standards” in the almost 80 years it had been in the country.

“As a result of this action by the government of Venezuela, it is impossible for SKCV to manage its affairs in a way that complies with our normal business standards,” said Smurfit Kappa.

“Consequently, as of 28 August 2018, SKCV is not responsible for the use of its installations, machinery and equipment, its employees’ safety, that of its surrounding communities, any environmental impact, or the quality of the paper and packaging manufactured in the operations.”

The packaging firm said that it was making all possible efforts to secure the release of its two employees, and that it was fully committed to protecting the interests of its stakeholders.