Naval guards seize over 30,000 liters of smuggled fuel in Bushehr

November 10, 2019 - 18:30

TEHRAN – Bushehr Province’s Navy commander said on Sunday that maritime guards have seized a vessel and a tank-truck smuggling 30,500 liters of diesel fuel.

Valiollah Rezaee Nezhad said four fuel smugglers have been arrested in the operations, Mehr reported.

Although Iran’s currency, rial, has experienced a severe depreciation against international currencies since last year, 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 U.S. 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 seven to ten million liters of petrol and diesel are smuggled out Iran every day, according to state media. Analysts are attributing a seven percent rise in fuel consumption to an increase in smuggling activity.