Italy breaks up smuggling ring for Libyan diesel fuel

2017-10-18 17:45

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Rome  - Italian police said on Wednesday that they had broken up a network selling low-quality Libyan diesel fuel worth $35m at service stations in Sicily and as far away as France and Spain.

In a year-long investigation, the Guardia di Finanza financial police found that the smugglers were obtaining fuel destined for ships from a refinery operated by Libya's National Oil Corporation at Zawiyah, about 40km west of Tripoli.

Priced 40% below official market rates, the fuel was then mixed and distributed at service stations and on the black market, with police registering 30 trips from Libya to Sicily.

The fraud deprived the Italian tax authorities of about 11m euros, police said.

A court in Catania issued several arrest warrants on Wednesday, including one for the CEO of the Italian company implicated in the fraud and an Italian go-between suspected of having mafia links.

Read more on:    italy  |  libya  |  north africa
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