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“Black gold mafias” in Iraq...holes that generate billions of dollars in the pockets of influential parties

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“Black gold mafias” in Iraq...holes that generate billions of dollars in the pockets of influential parties - Urgent

Today, Sunday (September 10, 2023), oil affairs specialist Ghanem Hassan revealed the truth about the existence of crude oil “mafias” in Iraq.

Hassan told "Baghdad Today", "Crude oil mafias exist in the country, especially the southern governorates, and they are basically arms of powerful parties that steal oil by bypassing the main pipelines, but they are not able to drill any well and steal crude oil because the well-drilling mechanism is complex and requires huge resources." It can only be provided through the Ministry of Oil and international investment companies.”

He added, "The theft of oil takes place in the remote areas through which crude oil pipelines pass and is monitored from time to time," pointing out that "the Ministry of Interior dismantled, months ago, the largest network in the history of Iraq for stealing and smuggling oil in which senior officers were involved," noting that “The network revealed many secrets.”

He continued: "There are wells in northern Iraq being drilled by specialized companies, and oil is being smuggled away from the Iraqi Marketing Company (SOMO), and there are important parties involved in this act and they are monitored and known by those concerned."

He pointed out that "Iraq's problem is smuggling, which represents a huge waste of the country's wealth, as it is sold for up to 40% less than its real price, and the money goes into the pockets of corrupt people, mafias, and the economic arms of certain parties."  

Black gold mafia

Observers indicate that due to the weakness of government oversight and the difference in fuel prices between the provinces of the region compared to other provinces and neighboring countries, oil smuggling operations are carried out by creating holes in the main transport pipelines by connecting high-pressure pipes to withdraw and smuggle the oil .

Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani announced on November 2, 2022, “the dismantling of the largest oil smuggling network in Basra Governorate, at a time when the National Security Service revealed the involvement of senior officers and employees, directors in the Energy Police and a number of associates in Basra Governorate, and the confiscation of 49 tanks.” With wheels prepared for smuggling, 93 dens and 496 tanks violating controls were found, in addition to the closure of 11 stations violating controls as well, while the smuggled quantities were estimated at 75 million barrels per month.

By calculating the minimum return on sales from the smuggling network. If the value of one barrel is estimated at $50, the revenues generated from selling 75 million barrels would be approximately four billion dollars per month.

The revelation of the dismantling of a number of oil derivatives smuggling networks opens the door to the file of the “black gold mafia,” which has spread in the country under the auspices of a number of senior officials and police commanders, causing severe damage to the Iraqi economy and negatively impacting the livelihood of citizens  link

To end the dispute between the region and Baghdad. Parliament intends to legislate the oil and gas law in its current session, 11 SEPT

Time : 2023/09/10 13:09:44

{Political: Euphrates News} Member of the House of Representatives Zainab Al-Khazraji confirmed the determination of the House of Representatives to approve the oil and gas law during the current session to end all differences between Baghdad and the region.

Al-Khazraji said in a statement drawn by {Euphrates News}, that "the adoption of the oil and gas law will end all the differences that exist between Baghdad and the region, which have been pending for years."

He added, "Among the important laws that the House of Representatives intends to approve is the oil and gas law, which has been suspended since 2005," indicating that "its approval will contribute to preserving the fair distribution of wealth throughout Iraq.

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