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12

David And Goliath: Shell Challenged Tax Demand

Venezuelan tax authorities closed the office of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell

Venezuelan tax authorities closed the office of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell in Lake Maracaibo for 48 hours and asked for an injunction on some of the company?s assets in a tax dispute.

The authorities are demanding form the company to pay a $131m bill for back taxes covering 2001-2004.

Shell is challenging the demand, claiming that ?Shell Venezuela has paid all taxes mandated by the law and complies with Venezuelan law.?

Under the injunction, Shell will be prevented from exporting or selling the goods earmarked under the injunction as collateral in the tax dispute.

Shell refused to comment on the injunction but did confirm that one of its offices had been closed, saying the measure would have "minimum impact" on its activities.