TEHRAN: The Finance Ministry has expressed helplessness in giving precise market size of smuggled Iranian Oil and the economic losses suffered there-from on account of numerous reasons. A well placed source at Finance Ministry told Pakistan Observe here on Wednesday that the Finance Ministry has named two main reasons in this regard; the nature of smuggling and lack of verifiable data for this illicit trade.
However the Pakistan Customs seized total 9,062,946 liters smuggled oil worth of Rs 619.246 million in 2014-15. Similarly, Customs arrested 113 smugglers, seized 393 oil tankers, lodged 52 FIRs and demolished 252 petrol pumps for stocking and selling smuggled Iranian oil. So far 5 cases have been prosecuted wherein, for the first time, in cases other than narcotics, imprisonment sentences (4-years) were awarded to the smugglers. All the challans have been deposited and other cases are being vigorously pursued
Moreover, the source said that Finance Ministry had also another excuse that Pak-Iran border was stretched over 730 KMs (Approx) from Qilla Rabat in the North to Jiwani in the South. Out, of 730 KMs, half of the border falls in the Jurisdiction of Gawadar Collectorate, whereas the remaining border falls in the jurisdiction of Model Customs Collectorate, Quetta.
‘Though there is no exact data to depict the actual economic loss caused from the smuggled Iranian Oil but the quantum of seizure is an indication of the scale of the menace of smuggling” the source said adding that Government took numerous measures to check smuggling of Iranian Oil including establishment of new check posts at Surab, Rakhni, Sheela Bagh, Gwadar-Pasni Road, Gwadar Zero-Point, Khari and Lak in Balochistan as well as at RCD Highway at Moachko, Super Highway near Toll Plaza and National Highway near Ghaggar Phatak, Karachi in Sindh province.