Officials in Misrata Port have seized 34 shipping containers after finding out that the customs clearance does not match the merchandise stuffed inside.
Sources from the port said the 34 containers were labeled as being full of milk cartons imported from Jordan, but customs officers found thousands of water bottles only.
“The custom clearance showed that the cargo containers worth $4 million of letters of credit,” the sources said.
There are no reports about the owner of these containers.
Greedy traders started using tricky ways to gain more money. They obtain bank credits to import food stuff with the official bank price of $ 1.42, but they only import empty containers to add the allocated money to their pockets as the dollar price surged to a record high in the black market reaching LYD 8.50. Some traders stuffed their containers with sandbags and rotten tomato paste boxes.
Misrata Customs said it is not the first fraud. In 2015 more than 100 empty containers were seized worth millions of letters of credit from the Central Bank of Libya.
There is a hot debate going on about the ill-use of bank credits by using them in money laundry and smuggling money out of Libya and thus plunging the country into an austere economic crisis, which resulted from the sharp shrinkage of oil exportation and the deterioration of its prices in the international market.
A shipping container full of sandbags was siezed last year