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How Venezuelan Used ‘Scrape’ to Make Six Times Her Salary

Venezuela’s currency controls are turning trips abroad into profitable junkets.

A 27-year-old trade analyst from Caracas said she earned six times her monthly salary by traveling in April to Lima, where a business swiped her credit card and gave her $1,600 cash, charged at the official exchange rate of 6.3 bolivars per dollar. When the analyst, who requested anonymity because what she did is illegal, returned to Venezuela, she sold the dollars at the street rate of 29-to-1, enough to pocket 25,000 bolivars after paying off her credit card and travel expenses.