By Sami Zaptia.
London, 8 May 2018:
The Fuel and Gas Crisis Committee announced that it has concluded on Sunday its survey of sites used for fuel smuggling in the south of Libya. This comes after it had concluded its earlier survey of sites in western Libya.
The survey entails the identification of sites used by fuel smugglers as well as actual and ghost petrol stations involved in diverting delivered subsidised fuel.
The National Oil Corporation/Brega Fuel and Gas Crisis Committee said that the smugglers ‘‘have caused fatigue to the Libyan citizen in their effort to get litres of fuel at subsidized price and increased the suffering of people (in the south) despite the deliveries of millions of litres for the southern regions through its Sabha depot’’.
The Fuel and Gas Crisis Committee reported that smugglers have been selling the contents of a fuel tanker at a price of LD 100,000 per 40,000 litres tanker, while the original price does not exceed LD 5,000. It added that according to information these fuel smuggling dens are sources of funding for some armed groups. The Committee repeated the statement that fuel smuggling is costing the country more than 750 million dollars per annum.
It will be recalled that the Fuel and Gas Crisis Committee had announced at the end of April that the 6th squadron of the Presidential Council-aligned Air Force was supporting the anti-fuel smuggling initiative launched by the National Oil Corporation’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla.
The Air Force was supported on the ground at the border region by forces from the city of Nalut and that Presidency Council (PC) Ministry of Interior aligned Central Security Forces had taken over control of the Libyan-Tunisian Ras Ajdair border crossing.
The Fuel and Gas Crisis Committee had said that smugglers’ hideouts and locations were being identified and collated, and their owners identified. Their identities would be referred to the Attorney General’s Office for further legal action.