Diplomat: Egypt’s subsidized diesel being smuggled to Jordan

Diplomat: Egypt’s subsidized diesel being smuggled to Jordan

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Sat, 01/06/2013 - 15:54
Traffickers use trucks to smuggle around 18 million liters of subsidized diesel a year from Egypt to Jordan, an Egyptian diplomat revealed Saturday.
 
Mohamed Elwy, Egypt’s Vice Consul in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, said Saturday that traffickers smuggle these shipments through the Nuweiba-Aqaba shipping line.
 
Egyptian news reports say that truckers fill their tanks in stations in North and South Sinai, as well as in Suez, where the distance to the seaport of Nuweiba is short. The reports suggest that they have installed hidden tanks in their trucks.
 
Truck drivers smuggle subsidized diesel on a daily basis, Elwy said, adding that each truck can carry up to nearly three thousand liters in three separate tanks. They then sell all the diesel in Jordan except for the 200 liters necessary for the return trip. In Jordan, the truckers sell it at four times the price in Egypt, he said.
 
The consulate submitted a report to the Foreign Ministry in Cairo detailing the smuggling of Egypt’s subsidized diesel, said Elwy.
 
Although it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Petroleum, officials from both institutions have failed to take action to stop the smuggling.
 
The only role of the Egyptian consulate in Aqaba is to send a report on the smuggling operations to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo.  It may then be passed on to the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Petroleum.
 
For almost a year, Egypt has faced a diesel and gas crisis. The government has repeatedly claimed that the problem is caused by the existence of a black market for fuel.
 
Egypt produces only 75 percent of its annual consumption of diesel fuel. The country has suffered from periodic fuel shortages in the last two years.
 
Edited translation from Al-Marsy Al-Youm