- Title: IRAQ: NATIONAL GUARD SEIZES 12 TANKERS CARRYING SMUGGLED OIL AND GASOLINE
- Date: 18th July 2004
- Summary: (W6) BASRA, IRAQ (JULY 17, 2004)(REUTERS) 1. NATIONAL GUARD STANDING BY SEIZED TANKERS 2. VIEWS OF SOME OF TTANKERS 3. NATIONAL GUARDSMAN STANDING GUARD WITH GUN 4. ANOTHER TANK 5. GUARDSMAN OPENING TAP TO LET OIL FLOW FROM TANKER; FLOWING OIL; IRAQI NATIONAL GUARDSMEN GATHERED AROUND OIL TANKERS 0.46 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 2nd August 2004 13:00
- Location: BASRA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA4NV3ONQL06AQ5YMBFA9MV3A3H
- Story Text: Iraqi National Guard seize 12 tankers carrying
smuggled oil and gasoline near Basra.
Iraqi National Guards on Saturday (July 17, 2004) seized
12 tankers suspected of being used to smuggle oil and
gasoline at a checkpoint in al-Zubair, south of the Iraqi
port city of Basra.
According to the National Guardsmen, six tankers were
loaded with crude oil while another six were loaded with
They said all the drivers of the tankers were Iraqis
and that no weapons were found with them.
They said that smugglers usually bashed holes in one of
the oil pipelines running from Basra oil refinery to fill
the tankers and then sold the shipment to vessels waiting
at Mina al-Zubair.
A number of tanker trucks have been seized during the
past months smuggling oil, gasoline and kerosene and
selling it to barges destined for Iran, the United Arab
Emirates and Kuwait.
Smugglers, however, continue to offer the best prices
to suppliers and the best jobs for impoverished residents
who wait hours for a few quarts of legal gasoline while
puddles of crude oil blacken the desert around them.
Thousands of tonnes of crude oil have been smuggled out
of Iraq on a daily basis over the past year, according to
British military authorities, who used to control the city
before handover to Iraqi local forces late last month.
Coalition officials say it will take a "few months" to
control crude smuggling, which had been taking place on a
massive scale for more than a decade under the ousted regime
A huge trade on the black market existed under former
Saddam Hussein, who was eager to operate outside the
boundaries of the United Nations trade sanctions and
oil-for-food programme, which carefully controlled the
spending of his oil revenues and funnelled them to
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