By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 9 May 2014:
Security officials under the direction of Ghat Joint Security Room have cracked down on the sale . . .[restrict]of illegal petrol in the southern border town, breaking up an illicit petrol market.
Spokesman for Ghat Joint Security Room Saeed Ahmed told the Libya Herald that security forces had raided the market on Tuesday and large quantities of the illegally traded petrol had been seized as a result.
He said a black market “petrol souq” had sprung up after clashes in Sebha disrupted supply lines and locals began smuggling petrol from Algeria. Ghat is a majority Tuareg town and many of its inhabitants have close links with the Tuareg community on the Algerian side of the border.
Ahmed said that illegal trade between Algeria and Libya had increased considerably since the revolution and the illicit petrol trade had worsened in Ghat following the closure of three petrol stations, pushing local fuel prices up. He added, however, that not all petrol sold in Ghat and imported from Algeria was traded on the black-market. There was also some legal importing of petrol in the aftermath of the disruptions in Sebha, he added.
It is claimed that some petrol start ions have deliberately closed in the south to enable dealers to sell fuel more expensively on the black market.
Algerian petrol sells for more than Libyan the price of 15 piastres (150 dirhams, 12 US cents) a litre. [/restrict]