Azzawiya Coast Guard, together with Tripoli Coast Guard, has foiled an attempt to smuggle fuel via the Libyan coast on board of an oil vessel with the flag of Belize Island in Central America. On the vessel there was a Russian captain and a Ukrainian crew.
The vessel, which belongs to a Greek company, was loaded with 5 million liters of diesel fuel and heading to Malta when it was intercepted off Bukamash shores in Zuwara, where it was handed over to the Navy Force in Tripoli before it empties the smuggled fuel in Ben Jaber oil storage tanks and then detain the vessel and the crew by the Public Persecutor until the end of investigation.
Meanwhile, the Special Deterrent Force in Tripoli said it received the nine crewmen; a Russian captain, 7 Ukrainian crewmembers and a man from Greece representing the Greek company.
Fuel smugglers’ work off the Libyan shores mounts in summer because the weather is stable making it easy for smugglers to load fuel and sail toward whatever destination they want, especially Malta and Greece because they are geographically close to Libya. In addition to the high prices of fuel in Europe and low price of the same substance in Libya as it is subsidized by the government and that is why it is sold for less than it cost.