Illegally imported shoes entering Venezuela via the ports are at the centre of a crisis over fraud.

Hector Vasquez, president of sports company, Nike Inc's local subsidiary, claims 75 per cent of all shoes entering the country do so illegally.

He is quoted in the local press, El Nacional, saying that illegal imitations make up about 60 per cent of the country's shoe market.

Customs agency association officials estimate that revenue lost to corruption in the first three months of the year alone totalled about $1.2 billion.

Earlier this month, customs department chief, Jose Vielma, quit his job claiming he was not getting enough help to stamp out corruption.