Libya cracks down on fuel smuggling by ordering mass arrests

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-13 00:32:15|Editor: yan
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TRIPOLI, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) confirmed on Monday that arrest warrants have been issued by the Attorney General against fuel smugglers in western Libya.

"NOC commends the Attorney General's decision to issue arrest warrants against more than 144 smugglers in western Libya," NOC said in a statement.

"Smuggling cost the Libyan economy and citizens hundreds of millions. Those who take part in such serious criminal acts are working against the interests of all Libyans and cause suffering in different cities of our beloved country," the statement added.

The corporation expressed willingness to "submit periodic reports and information on smuggling operations by criminal gangs to the Attorney General's Office."

The corporation also expressed hope to arrest "all those who committed crimes against the Libyan people and wasted their wealth, mainly Ibrahim Al-Jathran and all those who colluded with him by supporting and inciting him to close oil ports."

Al-Jathran was the leader of the Oil Installation Guards, who closed down major oil ports in eastern Libya for years, before the eastern-based army, led by General Khalifa Haftar defeated and expelled them.

Libya has suffered losses over the past four years of more than 140 billion U.S. dollars due to frequent closures of oil fields and ports, smuggling, and low oil prices in global market.