¬†Theft from oil pipelines in Colombia is booming as criminal gangs look to replace dwindling supplies of smuggled Venezuelan gasoline for use in the drug trade, as shown by data seen by Reuters from oil-pipeline operator Cenit and tax authorities. Gasoline is a key component in making cocaine but there have been shortages of fuel in Venezuela during that country’s social and economic crisis. So criminal groups in Colombia are tapping pipelines for ever more crude, which they must later refine. Colombian crime gangs also send some of that artisanal fuel to Venezuela, a reversal of historic smuggling patterns. “Now it’s switched,” Yessica Prieto, project and investigations director of Colombian energy advocacy group Crudo Transparente, told Reuters. “It’s … Colombian mafias, or criminal groups, who are stealing Colombian crude, […]