Qurbon Abdunazarov, Tajikistan Customs Service official, considers that Kyrgyzstan's concerns over fuel smuggling into Tajikistan are quite exaggerated, Asia-Plus reported.
"Some Kyrgyz media outlets quoted Kyrgyz MP Qamchybek Tashiyev as saying that up to 800 tons of fuels are being smuggled out of Kyrgyzstan into Tajikistan per day, but for transporting this amount of fuel at least 80 trucks are needed. Besides, conditions of free movement of these vehicles through the border are needed. This is impossible," said Abdunazarov, "Besides, the Government of Kyrgyzstan has put a ban on fuel exports."
According to him, Tajik customs officers have also taken a number of measures to prevent fuel smuggling out of Kyrgyzstan. "Customs control has been tightened and mobile groups numbering some 70 customs officers are currently working on the border," Tajik customs official said, noting that 104 attempts of fuel smuggling have been prevented over the first eight months of this year due to those measures. More than 6.2 million liters of fuels, with more than 52 percent of them being gasoline, have been confiscated.
Fuel smuggling has reportedly increased by some 40 percent compared to last year. Over the last two weeks alone, three trucks carrying 33 tons of gasoline have been stopped in Tajikistan. Mostly, private entrepreneurs are engaged in fuel smuggling.
Fuels top the customs authority's list of smuggled commodities. They are followed by alcohol drinks; 102 cases of alcohol smuggling have been reported in Tajikistan in January-August this year. Soft drinks are also among the top three smuggled commodities - 61 cases of smuggling of soft drinks have been registered in the country over the same eight-month period.