Venezuela seizes 4m Christmas toys

Venezuela seizes Christmas toys (Sundde/Twitter)
Venezuela seizes Christmas toys (Sundde/Twitter)

Like the anti-Santa, or the Grinch that stole Christmas, the Venezuelan government has struck again - by seizing nearly 4 million Christmas toys.

The deeply-unpopular Nicolás Maduro leadership ordered 3,821,926 gifts seized from Kreisel, Venezuela's largest toy distributor.

Heavily armed soldiers were sent to secure the toys, and two toy company executives were arrested, accused of profiteering.

In 2013 authorities put a 30 percent limit of profit margins. It's alleged the toy company was making 50,000 percent.

Venezuela's consumer protection agency, Sundde, blamed the company for stockpiling the presents for Christmas.

"Our children are sacred, we will not let them rob you of Christmas," it tweeted, along with evidence showing thousands of toys.

Agency director William Contreras said it would teach companies "that you can't play with the rights of Venezuelans".

The Government said local supply committees would be set up to distribute the toys "fairly".

However, with an economic crisis and a country shattered by corruption, many suspect the toys will be "accidentally" diverted - and it will be the children of officials waking up to extra presents under their Christmas tree.