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Kuwait busts fuel smuggling ring

16 june 2011, 17:41
©RIA Novosti
©RIA Novosti
Kuwait has busted a ring linked to a regional intelligence service that has smuggled heavily-subsidised fuel to a neighbouring country, AFP reports, citing a Kuwaiti daily Thursday.

Citing an unnamed highly-informed security source, Al-Jarida daily said the ring smuggled large quantities of fuel by sea through the tiny port of Doha, around 20 km (12.5-mile) west of Kuwait City.

The paper did not name the country where the fuel was smuggled, but the Doha port is almost exclusively used for small boats operating to and from Iranian ports on the other side of the Gulf.

It quoted the security source as saying the fuel was being smuggled through "middle men" in Kuwait "linked to a regional intelligence service."

The smuggled quantities were so large that it affected the strategic reserve of the state-run Kuwait National Petroleum Co. (KNPC) which operates the emirate's three refineries, the daily said.

KNPC was forced to import fuel to compensate for the lost amounts, Al-Jarida said. Fuel in Kuwait is sold at a heavily-subsidised price that has not changed for about 12 years.

Although Iran is the second largest OPEC producer, it is importing vast volumes of fuel due to a lack of refining capacity and US and EU sanctions to satisfy domestic demand.

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