Turkey seizes smuggled Syrian fuel worth 6.7 mln liras in 45 days
Turkish authorities discovered earlier this months 11 pipelines measuring 15,400-meters in 12 different areas in the Narlıca district.Turkey has seized over 6.7-million Turkish Liras’ worth of smuggled fuel at the Syrian border over a 45-day period, the customs minister has announced.
The announcement comes as the government is intensifying efforts to battle against fuel being smuggled from Syria, while seeking to soothe concerns over what has become an increasing threat to the energy market.
As the effects of smuggled fuel coming from Syria have begun to show themselves on the market prospects, fuel sector representatives have begun to raise their voices to urge authorities for more serious measures at the border gates.
Intending to assure the government is on the job and watching the situation closely, Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı released a statement on July 15.
“Around 1,660-tons of fuel, valuing 6.7 million liras, have been seized as 1,675 vehicles have been audited in [southern province of] Hatay over the 45-day period and legal procures against the suspects have begun,” the minister said, adding a 5.3-million-lira tax penalty has been charged.
Yazıcı also said the controls have been broadened beyond Hatay in the region.
“I instructed the governorships with the aim of expanding the audits against fuel smuggling to include neighboring provinces including Gaziantep, Adana, Mersin, Kilis, Niğde and Osmaniye,” he said.
Problems arising from illegal trade from Syria, the country which Turkey shares a border of more than 900 kilometers, have been raising fears in the sector.
Large amounts of fuel that is being smuggled from civil war-hit Syria will slow the Turkish fuel market’s growth by 1.5-3 points, BP Turkey Manager Martin Thomsen said last week.