HAVANA, February 10. The Cuban authorities reported a crime in which 30 Cubans were implicated in the theft of 1,660 boxes of chicken (133 tons) intended for the regulated family basket.
The event took place in chamber 414 of the COPMAR Food Marketing Company, of the fishing business group belonging to the Ministry of the Food Industry.
Through a report broadcast on the National Television News, it was learned that the internal investigation began when a suspicious temperature fluctuation was detected in the chamber during the night. After this event, an exhaustive inventory was carried out that confirmed the shortage.
Although the police investigation has not concluded, the report warns that “currently there are preliminary results in the investigation, actions are continuing to expand the criminal chain and present those involved before the courts.”
Among the 30 involved is the general director of COPMAR, who is in provincial prison along with 10 other people.
Security images captured anomalous movements of vehicles near the location, and manipulated security seals were also detected that pointed to an internal infiltration.
In addition, several company employees, including shift leaders and custodians, are involved in the incident. Presumably, all of them were part of the criminal chain that stole chicken for illegal sale on the black market.
As was confirmed during the investigation, each box of chicken was sold for 3,800 Cuban pesos (CUP) wholesale.
Likewise, the work of the state press adds, that home searches were carried out on the accused, which resulted in the confiscation of illegally acquired assets, including household appliances and nearly 3 million CUP in cash.
For its part, the Ministry of the Food Industry claims to have taken measures to guarantee stricter security, giving greater importance to internal surveillance and to “protect the country’s food resources.”
Until now, the judicial files for the legal process are in the hands of the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic, an entity that promised to take “severe and exemplary sentences” in the face of this type of crime and take into account the food crisis on the island.
The prosecutor of the criminal proceedings department of Havana, Marta María González, declared in the aforementioned journalistic work that “based on the results of the investigation, crimes of embezzlement, robbery with force, bribery, and failure to comply with the duty to preserve “the assets of economic entities or receipt.”
Taking these crimes into account, sanctions could be requested with maximum sentences of up to 20 years of deprivation of liberty, depending on the aggravating circumstances and the degree of participation of each of those involved.
“In this case, it will be a severe decision because the case warrants it. The harmfulness is there, the fact is there, the consequences are serious, the damages are also and the historical moment in which we are experiencing the affected product and the population then requires a decision of this nature,” concluded the lawyer Marta María González.