Saudi customs thwart big fuel smuggling bid from Gulf port

Saudi Arabia’s customs have thwarted an attempt to smuggle refined petroleum products out of the Gulf port of Dammam. (Courtesy: Construction Machinery Middle East)


Saudi Arabia’s customs authorities have thwarted an attempt to smuggle over 3,260 metric tons of refined petroleum products out of the country’s Gulf port of Dammam, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

King Abdulaziz Port Customs general manager Othmanal-Riqei was quoted as saying on Tuesday that the smugglers had tried to disguise their operation by mislabeling 296 large metal containers carrying barrels.

The report did not say which fuels were seized or where they were headed, but subsidized Saudi vehicle fuels are among the cheapest in the world and several countries in the region, including Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Pakistan, have struggled to meet their demand with domestic production.

It was not clear from the report whether arrests had been made in the case. Fuel smuggling rings are uncovered periodically in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter.

Last Update: Wednesday, 27 March 2013 KSA 13:45 - GMT 10:45