Police seize 30,500 million liters of smuggled fuel in Bushehr

TEHRAN, Nov. 10 (MNA) – According to Navy Commander of Bushehr Province, maritime guards have seized one vessel and one tank-truck consisted of 30,500 liters of smuggled fuel in the province.

The Second Brigadier General Valiollah Rezaie Nezhad said on Sunday that the maritime guards of Bushehr Province and Bandar Ganaveh, south of Iran identified and seized one vessel and one tank-truck smuggling diesel fuel in two separate operations.

The seized cargoes consisted of 30,500 liters of smuggled diesel fuel, he said, adding that four fuel smugglers have been arrested in these operations and sent to judiciary officials.

Although Iranian rial has experienced a severe depreciation against international currencies in recent months, fuel prices have remained unchanged and this has multiplied the lucrativeness of fuel smuggling in Iran.

As reported in early June, Iran has launched a border market to sell diesel fuel to buyers in Pakistan and Afghanistan to counter the smuggling of fuel at border areas.

As the US and European Union tightened sanctions on Iran, a lucrative cross-border industry of smuggling fuel and goods has emerged, bolstered by a sharp drop in the value of the Iranian currency.

Fuel, especially diesel, is being moved illegally out of the country through cities bordering Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey, says Alireza Zeighami, deputy oil minister for refining and distribution.

Between 7 million-10 million liters of petrol and diesel are smuggled out every day, according to Iranian state media. Analysts are attributing a 7 percent rise in fuel consumption to an increase in smuggling activity.

 MNA/IRN83548058

News Code 152105

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