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        Libya Seizes 100,000 Litres of Smuggled Fuel

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        On Sunday, Libya’s 444th Combat Brigade, affiliated with the Government of National Unity (GNU) forces, announced the arrest of several people and the seizure of three trucks loaded with 100,000 liters of smuggled fuel South of Bani Walid.

        In a post on its official page on Facebook, the 444th Brigade said that “the campaigns against the smuggling Heads will continue and will not stop, until they are uprooted and the homeland and its people are delivered.”

        Libya continues to suffer from the depletion of subsidised fuel through smuggling. In 2018, the United Nations (UN) Panel of Experts on Libya said that “fuel smuggling from and within Libya continues to be a thriving activity.” They noted that armed groups and transnational criminal networks reap significant profits from illegal exports of refined petroleum products.

        In its report to the Head of the Security Council, the group of experts noted that three out of the six attempts to illegally export crude oil, were almost successful.

        On Thursday, the Commander of the European Union’s (EU’s) operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI (commonly known as IRINI), Admiral Stefano Turchetto, said that he is currently conducting a study to take measures to combat oil smuggling in Libya.

        In an interview with the Italian news agency, Nova, Turchetto stressed, “in this particularly turbulent political phase in Libya, where two competing political parties are battling for power, the control of any illegal exports of crude oil becomes critical.”

        He added that the non-passage of its revenues via the National Oil Corporation (NOC) may fuel instability in Libya, leading to an increase in human trafficking. As well as arms smuggling to opposition factions, threatening the fragile ceasefire in place.

        He confirmed how important the current operation is, given the volatile state of Libyan politics.

        Admiral Turchetto said that IRINI was not created to only bring stability to Libya and the Mediterranean, but to the wider Sahel and Sub-Saharan region. “Operation IRINI is currently one of the EU’s most important tools in helping stabilise Libya. It is there to implement the resolution from the UN Security Council.”

        Source: Libya Review