| 28 January 2023, Saturday |

A Lebanese Syrian smuggling network, lifting subsidy is not the answer.

With every escalation of the fuel crisis in Lebanon, talk about lifting subsidies rises again, as some immediately say that as long as the price of gasoline in Lebanon is cheaper than that in Syria, smuggling will continue and therefore the fuel crisis will remain unchanged.

In fact, this is not true for many reasons related to the nature of the gasoline and diesel cartels that control the fuels, how they are distributed inside of Lebanon, and the smuggling of the biggest part of it to the oil cartels affiliated with the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.

Informed sources told “Sawt Beirut International”, that there are mafias that have been created between Lebanon and Syria, subjected directly to the Syrian regime, and its recalcitrant followers in Lebanon. The same method of sharing quotas and stealing the capabilities of the people and the Lebanese treasury during the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, is taking place today through the smuggling of fuel, or in the more correct sense, stealing the Lebanese people’s gasoline and diesel, and sell it at high prices in Syria.

information points out that gas has got into the smuggling line, becoming a desirable substance inside the Syrian territory and causing a new crisis on the expense the Lebanese, as gas tanks are smuggled, and Syrian tanks are filled in Lebanon in large quantities.

The Syrian-Lebanese joint network is working on emptying Lebanon from the fuel before the eyes of the state, which stands idly by, while some receive huge commissions to achieve these tasks, noting that this network has  great influence within the country, and it smuggles fuels in large quantities on a daily basis and around the clock.

It added  that the process of lifting the subsidy did not and will not lead to a result, because if subsidy is lifted in Lebanon, the fuel smuggling network will automatically lift it in Syria, and this means that smuggling will continue, as this network earns huge sums of money through smuggling operations, and any attempt to combat smuggling by lifting subsidies will fail.

Sanctions imposed on Syria have made Lebanon the only passage for smuggling fuel, and that there is no other smuggling door to Syria, so taking a decision to combat smuggling, it is very difficult, sources indicates adding that smuggling is all what is left for Hezbollah to secure funding.