Smuggled goods worth $47.5m discovered in a week

September 19, 2021 - 16:54

TEHRAN – Smuggled goods worth 2 trillion rials (nearly $47.5 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) have been seized across the country over the past week, through the ninth phase of a nationwide plan to fight against smuggling.

Under the plan, police detectives identified the location of the depot through round-the-clock efforts and specialized actions, Mohammad Reza Moghimi, the police chief, said on Sunday.

More than 12 million types of smuggled goods, including basic goods, home appliances, electronic equipment, car, and mobile phone accessories, etc., along with 420,796 liters of all kinds of smuggled fuels and petroleum products discovered, IRNA reported.

Every year, $20-25 billion worth of goods are smuggled in and out of the country. He went on to say that essential goods worth 2 trillion rials (around $47.5 million) have been discovered, while 621 vehicles and 1,403 criminals were arrested during the implementation of the plan.

Most recently, some 2.9 trillion rials (nearly $70 million) worth of smuggled goods has been seized across the country in May.

$20-25 billion of smuggled goods annually

Every year, $20-25 billion worth of goods are smuggled in and out of the country, which, if stopped, will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, Hassan Norouzi, a member of the Parliament, said.

In the Iranian calendar year 1396 (March 2017-March 2018), $12 billion was smuggled into Iran and $900 million out of the country, according to the Headquarters for Combating the Smuggling of Commodities and Foreign Exchange.

According to some reports, over ten million liters of gasoline are smuggled out of Iran on a daily basis, adding up to 3.65 billion liters every year. Other reports put the number higher. On December 19, 2018, a government spokesman said every day 11.5 million liters of gasoline are smuggled out of Iran. Ali Adyani, a member of the Iranian Parliament's Energy Committee has quoted various sources as putting the figure at 10, 15, and even 20 million liters a day.

Mohammad Hassan Nejad, another member of the committee, says the smuggled fuel amounts to 22 million liters per day. With a 50 cent per liter profit, the total daily income adds up to 400 trillion rials annually or $3.3 billion, nearly the same as the country's annual development budget.

In addition to gasoline smuggling, other fuels such as kerosene and diesel are also smuggled; not in lesser quantities.

In June 2020, the first phase of the national anti-smuggling plan has been implemented with the priority of customs, tobacco, and transit goods nationwide.

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