17 May 2007 - 12:12
  • News Code: 104877
Gasoline Smuggling Above 10m Liter/Day

TEHRAN – Iran, as a developing country, is also grappling with fuel smuggling--one of examples of the shadow economy.

The Headquarters for Combating Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Exchange on Wednesday elaborated on the latest situation in gasoline consumption as well as fuel smuggling in the country.

In a letter to a member of the Board of Directors of Oil Derivates Exporters Union, the top anti-smuggling body official stated that one of main problems and challenges facing developed countries is financial corruption arising from underground economy.

Iran, as a developing country, is also grappling with fuel smuggling--one of examples of the shadow economy, the headquarters said on Wednesday, according to Isna.

Excessive fuel smuggling poses threat on the national economy and creates social and financial crisis, it added.

Wide gap between prices of oil derivates in Iran and those in regional states has led to fuel crisis in neighboring states which has made fuel products a top commodity smuggled out of the country.

As unofficial figures suggest, above five million liters of fuel are illegally taken out of the country daily, mostly through border provinces of Khorasan, Kurdestan, Sistan-Baluchestan and West Azarbaijan. These smuggled fuels supply a major part of the demand in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

Increased fuel smuggling not only had adverse impacts on the economies of the country as well as regional states but has also helped create an "artificial" crisis.

The main problem in administrative structure is overlapping responsibilities of related entities, organizations and institutions.

"In certain cases, some officials try to show that performance of their related institutions is unblemished," the headquarters underlined.

The anti-smuggling body called on related body to solve the challenges through comprehensive and national approach.

Such approach can help put an end to smuggling of fuels to neighboring countries. Oil Ministry officials put the volume of gasoline (diesel and kerosene not included) smuggled out of the country at a minimum of five million liters per day.

The headquarters further noted that some newspapers quoted Islamic Republic of Iran Police officials as putting the figure at average 10 million liters per day.

The headquarters also stressed that the latter figure (10 million liters) is closer to reality.

Oil Ministry has announced daily gasoline consumption at 70 million liters (40 millions produced at home and the remainder imported).

"As per figures by mainstream media, seven million vehicles are plying in the streets (three millions in Tehran and the remaining in other cities).

"Average gasoline consumption per vehicle stands at five liters daily. So these seven million cars consume 35 million liters per day. What will happen to the remaining 35 liters is a question to which one should find the answer?" headquarters asked.

News Code 104877

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