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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 February, 2005, 13:49 GMT
Coke hit by Venezuela's tax war
Coca Cola bottle
Coca Cola's bottling plants in Venezuela are closed for 48 hours
Venezuela's tax authorities have ordered a 48-hour closure of Coca Cola's bottling plants for allegedly not following tax rules.

Seniat, Venezuela's tax agency, said Coca Cola Femsa has failed to keep proper accounts.

The company's four plants and 34 distribution centres have been closed.

The government is pursuing a "zero tax evasion" campaign that has also hit McDonald's, Lucent technologies and local businesses.

"We are closing the 34 distribution centres and the four plants because they are not maintaining their sales books in a suitable manner," said Selma Rendon, a Seniat manager.

The aggressive tax campaign in Venezuela has markedly improved revenue collection in the country.

In 2004, tax and custom revenues were 24.6 trillion bolivars ($12.8bn; 6.8bn), 50% higher than in 2003.

Coca Cola Femsa is the largest bottler of Coca Cola in Latin America, with operations in Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and various countries in Central America.

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