CARACAS – The National Bolivarian Police Force, or CPNB, captured three people who had in their possession 1,550 kilos (3,414 lbs.) of “explosive material” that they were going to sell to a “paramilitary contact,” Venezuela’s interior minister said Wednesday.
“CPNB caught three members of a band red-handed in downtown Caracas with 1,550 kilos of an explosive material,” Gustavo Gonzalez said on Twitter, where he also noted that “the captured suspects were intending to sell the material to a paramilitary contact who was coming from the border with Colombia.”
The announcement came after last weekend there were at least three grenade attacks on police posts that wounded more than a dozen people.
The Attorney General’s Office reported on Monday that it launched an investigation of the three attacks, while the governor of the central state of Miranda, Henrique Capriles, said that the number of such attacks had risen to five.
The news about the selling of explosives to paramilitaries came amid a border dispute with Colombia after the Venezuelan government took measures to close the frontier and declare a “state of exception” along most of the mutual border.
On Wednesday, it was expected that the two nations’ ministers of defense, Colombia’s Luis Carlos Villegas and Venezuela’s Vladimir Padrino Lopez, would hold a meeting to agree on the “progressive normalization” of the situation in the border zone, but the meeting was suspended at the request of the Venezuelan government.