Libya’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said it has thwarted the smuggling of huge quantities of fuel out of the country.
The CID Media Office added that it has “managed to prevent the smuggling of Libya’s wealth outside the country.”
It noted that CID forces arrested a number of suspects after the ambush. “Investigations are still ongoing in the case to find out who was behind the smuggling operation, to bring the criminals to justice,” the CID said.
In August, the CID said that 23 trucks loaded with 80,000 liters of fuel were seized. They were due to be smuggled out of the country by an organized smuggling network.
The operation was carried out by members of the Ras Ajdir border crossing office of the Criminal Investigation Agency. This took place after members of the investigation unit received information from reliable sources that this network was ready to carry out the smuggling inside trucks destined for Tunisia.
It also confirmed that all necessary legal measures were taken regarding those arrested. The seized trucks were referred to the Customs Guard Center at the crossing.
In April, Libya’s Attorney General, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour said a tanker smuggling fuel was seized off the coast of Abu Kamash, northwest Libya. He added that the tanker was towed to the Shaab port in Tripoli.
The tanker was in the process of smuggling fuel, and the operation was carried out in coordination with the Libyan Coast Guard.
“Fuel smugglers and thieves have permeated not only the militias which control much of Libya, but also the fuel distribution companies which are supposed to bring cheap fuel to citizens,” he said.
Smuggling networks have flourished amid the political turmoil and armed conflict that developed following Libya’s 2011 uprising. Groups are often involved in multiple types of smuggling, making huge profits from illicit sales of fuel and the transfer of migrants toward Europe.