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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Fuel smuggling costs Libya $750m every year

About 30% to 40% of fuel produced and imported by Libya is stolen or smuggled, head of NOC says

Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the National Oil Corporation of Libya says about 30 to 40 per cent of fuel produced and imported by Libya is stolen or smuggled. Justin Tallis / AFP Photo
Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the National Oil Corporation of Libya says about 30 to 40 per cent of fuel produced and imported by Libya is stolen or smuggled. Justin Tallis / AFP Photo

Fuel smuggling is costing Libya about $750 million a year, the head of the country’s National Oil Corporation said.

About 30 to 40 per cent of fuel produced and imported by Libya is stolen or smuggled, Mustafa Sanalla said, according to the text of a speech delivered in Geneva. He urged international institutions such as Interpol to aid domestic agencies in breaking up smuggling rings in the country.

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Libya, holder of Africa’s largest crude reserves and an Opec member, is already reeling from political divisions that have slashed oil production. Smugglers have “permeated” some fuel distribution companies as well as the militias currently vying for control of the country, according to Sanalla.

The issue is “destroying the fabric of the country,” he said. “The huge sums of money available from smuggling have corrupted large parts of Libyan society.”