Anti-smuggling plan confiscates goods worth $4m

January 21, 2022 - 17:36

TEHRAN – The 14th phase of the anti-smuggling national plan seized smuggled goods worth 1.1 trillion rials (nearly $4 million) across the country, police chief Mohammad Reza Moghimi, said on Friday.

In order to help domestic production, the fight against smuggling is underway continuously through monitoring of goods (origin and destination), implementation of plans, periodic and intermittent inspections of roads, etc. are on the agenda by the anti-trafficking police throughout the country, he explained.

“In this phase of the plan, which was implemented during two weeks, the provinces of Kordestan, Golestan, Alborz, Fars, Lorestan, and Isfahan had the most discoveries.

More than 1,521 tons of all kinds of basic goods, agricultural products, and other items were discovered.

During the operations, 377 vehicles were seized and 565 smugglers were arrested and handed over to the judicial authorities,” he explained, IRNA reported.

The smuggled usually goods include basic goods, home appliances, electronic and medical equipment, car, and mobile phone accessories, cosmetics, clothes, coins, and currencies along with all kinds of smuggled fuels and petroleum products.

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

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