Iranian oil minister concerned about rampant fuel smuggling
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.20/ Trend G.Mehdi/
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has voiced worry over rampant fuel smuggling during the past months, ILNA reported.
He said plans are underway to curb fuel smuggling despite external pressures.
On October 28, IRNA reported that more than 2 million liters of smuggled fuels have been seized at the southeastern borders of Iran during the first half of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20.
Gas oil accounted for some 1.9 million liters of the smuggled fuel, according to the report.
Both gasoline and kerosene were among the seized products.
On October 24, Iranian Customs Administration Director Abbas Memarnejad said 7 trillion rials (about $570 million) worth of goods have been smuggled into and out of Iran during the 6-month period.
Around 12,000 cases of smuggling have been registered at customs nationwide, he added.
The smuggling is not confined to fuels, he said, stressing that it also includes home appliance and foreign currency.
The irregular importation of various goods has damaged the economy, Anti-Drug Headquarters Secretary General Fada-Hossein Maleki said.
"Imports have increased by 12 percent in weight but declined by 16 percent in value. This issue shows that unnecessary goods have been imported in large scale," he noted.
On October 5, MP Alireza Monadi-Sepidan told the Fars News Agency that imports should be regulated and illegal imports of up to $30 billion, which have dented the domestic production, should be curbed.
Based on a statement by General Inspection Organization Director Mostafa Pourmohammadi, the smuggled goods into the country amounted to around $20 billion in the Iranian year which ended in March 2011. The figure declined by $6 billion in the year to March 2012.