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Venezuela arrests tax official

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, June 20, 2013, 9:06 p.m.

CARACAS — A top official at Venezuela's tax collection agency has been arrested on suspicion of corruption, and cash worth hundreds of thousands of dollars was seized from an apartment, President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday.

Maduro said in televised comments during a visit to the western state of Lara that the National Integrated Service of Tax Administration official was detained on Wednesday evening.

He did not identify the person by name but said a search of a “luxurious” flat in eastern Caracas turned up the equivalent of about $630,000 in bolivares, Venezuela's currency.

“I am announcing a battle against corruption. ... Do you think we can move toward socialism ... with corrupt people like this?” Maduro said.

Two weeks ago, an official at the agency that oversees pricing was also arrested on suspicion of extortion and illegal weapons possession.

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