The chicken would have been distributed to citizens under the communist-run island's ration book system, which provides subsidised food and is an integral part of daily Cuban life. But it's thought thieves sold the chickento buy laptops and TVs.
News reporter @Reemul_B
Saturday 10 February 2024 15:57, UK
Thirty people have been charged after stealing 133 tonnes of chicken and selling it on in Cuba amid economic turmoil and food shortages in the country.
Thieves took the poultry stored in 1,660 boxes from a state facility in the capital Havana and used the money from the sales to buy products including refrigerators, TVs, air conditioners, and laptops.
The chicken would have been distributed to citizens under the communist-run island's ration book systemintroduced more than 60 years ago after Fidel Castro's revolutionwhich provides subsidised food and is an integral part of daily Cuban life.
The amount stolen was equivalent to a month's ration of chicken for a medium-sized province at the current distribution rates, an official for government food distributor COPMAR said.
IT workers and shift bosses at the plant were among those charged, as well as security guards and outsiders not directly involved with the company.
The suspects could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Authorities did not say exactly when the theft took place, but that it likely happened between midnight and 2am when temperature changes were detected in the storage facility.
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Footage captured trucks transporting the chicken off the site.
Cuba imports most of the food and fuel it consumes, but revenues have plunged following COVID, worsened by strict US sanctions and stagnant tourism, which was once a mainstay of the nation's economy.
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