Strategy in place to prevent oil smuggling from Iran: Ministry


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The government has evolved an effective strategy to prevent oil smuggling from Iran, which is causing loss to national exchequer, official sources in Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said.

“At present there is no exact figure about the oil being smuggled from Iran, but there is a need for extra efforts by the revenue board to assess the loss being caused by the illegal activity to the national exchequer,” they told the state-run news agency.

The government, he said, had devised a strategy to prevent oil smuggling under which it established new check posts at Surab, Rakhni, Sheela Bagh, Gwadar-Pasni Road, Gwadar Zero-Point, Khari and Lak.

Due to the very nature of smuggling and lack of verifiable data for this illicit trade, they said it was difficult to work out with absolute precision the market size of smuggled Iranian oil and the economic losses suffered from there.

They said Pakistan-Iran border was stretched over approximately 730 kilometers, adding that half of the border was in the jurisdiction of Gwadar Collectorate, whereas the remaining border was in the jurisdiction of Model Customs Collectorate (MCC), Quetta.

Besides, they informed that check posts at RCD Highway at Moachko, Super Highway near Toll Plaza and National Highway near Ghaggar Phatak and Karachi had been established.

While, Customs Posts at Fisheries/Jetties at Jiwani, Pishukan, Surbunder and Dam have also been established, they added.

Under the strategy, they said, existing check posts at Nokundi, Dalbandin, Lak-Pass, Balleli, Dam and Bandh Murad had been fortified.

“Supervision and activation of intelligence squads, anti-smuggling Mobile Squads and Mobile Enforcement Units have been enhanced besides equipping them with sophisticated arms and vehicular mobility,” the minister said.

The government also made efforts to enhance coordination with other law enforcement agencies for carrying out joint operations against the smuggling of Iranian petroleum products.

Moreover, they said, a `Marine Section’ had been established by MCC Gawadar to gather information, plug attempts of smuggling Iranian petroleum products through speed boats.

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