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NOC: Libyan counter-smuggling efforts bear fruit

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LONDON – Libya witnessed in 2018 a 17% drop in demand for diesel, despite a stable economy and domestic consumption levels, indicating progress in counter-smuggling efforts, said chairman of the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanalla.

During a keynote speech at the Oil and Fuel Supply Chain Security Conference in London on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, Sanalla stressed that an improved 2018 security outlook contributed to a reduction in the illicit economy, yet warned that progress and crude oil production would be threatened by the latest escalation in hostilities.

“Protracted conflict threatens future operations and the distribution of refined fuels. Crude oil theft and smuggling are a direct threat to the integrity of the country.”

The NOC chairman, however, emphasized that the international community has a greater role to play in countering smuggling. He called on Europol, Interpol and European national law enforcement agencies to enhance efforts to chase and repatriate the proceeds of crime to the Libyan government. He further reiterated the importance of including fuel smuggling activities in the mandate of ‘Operation Sophia’ by the European naval force patrolling the Southern Mediterranean, EUNAVFOR.

Sanalla thanked NOC subsidiary ‘Brega Petroleum Marketing Company’ (BPMC) for its counter-smuggling efforts, while also endorsing the work of the Libyan Public Prosecutor’s office in relation to the arrest warrants issued against criminals suspected of fuel smuggling and illicit sales. He also recognized the United Nations Panel of Experts on Libya for its annual report naming smugglers, thereby facilitating sanctions.

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