CAIRO: For the second time in one week, the Custom officials succeeded in foiling an attempt of smuggling 70 tons of Benzene to Turkey, Mubasher reported head of Egyptian Customs Authority Mohamed Al-Salhawy as saying Sunday.
Damietta Customs’ officially succeeded to foil another attempt of smuggling 90 tons of subsidized benzenes to Turkey on Friday, it said in a statement. A lawsuit was filed and the case was submitted to the concerned parties to take the required measures, Egy. News reported.
Tightening supervision on customs outlets was within the Ministry of Finance’s plan to prevent smuggling subsidized products to keep Egypt’s revenues of customs and to protect social and economic stabilities, Salhawy added.
“The large price difference between local subsidized and international prices push smugglers to push more quantities of petroleum products,” he said. The subsidized benzene price value at 1EGP per liter while its international prices are worth $1.6 per liter, Mubasher stated.
The government provides about 11 EGP subsidies for each liter, he said and that the Custom Authority confiscated the two freights to the state.
As for Egypt’s loses of smuggled oil products, professor of Petroleum Engineering and Energy at the American University in Cairo Gamal Al-Qalyiuby announced that Egypt’s loses of smuggling oil ups to 12 billion EGP annually. Approximately 65 percent of the smuggled petroleum products are executed across the borders, Al-Badil reported Qalyiuby was saying in March.
Libya, Sudan, and Gaza are the top countries who receive Egyptian smuggled oil products, he said.
Oil subsidy spending accounts for one fifth of the budget and it exploits more than 100 billion EGP annually, Reuters reported.
“If the government did not reform the subsidy system, expenditures would soar by 10 to 12 percent to total 130 billion EGP,” Minister of Finance Hani Kadry Demian said mid-May.