Over 910,000 liters of smuggled oil products seized

November 26, 2021 - 20:0

TEHRAN – Over 910,000 liters of smuggled oil products worth more than 55 billion rials (nearly $1.3 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) have been confiscated last week across the country, police chief Mohammad Reza Moghimi, said on Friday.

The plan included "several provincial and regional operations to combat smuggling of goods and currency, with priority given to controlling major fuel consumers, fuel tankers, fuel supply stations and manufacturing, industrial and agricultural companies", which was implemented over the past week.

The discovered goods were handed over to the organization for the collection of smuggled fuel of the National Petrochemical Company, he added.

during the operations, 54 vehicles were seized and 120 smugglers were arrested and handed over to the judicial authorities, he explained, IRNA reported.

On November 15, smuggled goods worth 400 billion rials (nearly $9.5 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) were seized across the country.

$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, has 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 was implemented with the priority of customs, tobacco, and transit goods nationwide.

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