Police ‘confiscate over 26,000 liters of diesel, gas on black market’

Egypt’s police on Saturday said that it confiscated 26,400 liters of gasoline and diesel that were about to be sold on the black market in Alexandria, Sohag and Kafr al-Sheikh.

An Interior Ministry statement said the owner of a filling station in Alexandria was found in a truck loaded with 15,000 liters of subsidized diesel to sell on the black market, while his station had been closed due to fuel shortages.

Having reviewed records of how much diesel had been allocated to the station recently, police suspect the station owner of having sold 360,000 liters of subsidized diesel on the black market.

Last week the Interior Ministry said police were being deployed in greater numbers at gas stations to ensure that allocated gas is being properly distributed. Since then police have confiscated thousands of liters of subsidized diesel, the ministry said.

According to the ministry the fuel crisis eased on Saturday. But media reports indicated that some governorates are still being badly affected by the crisis.

On Friday a man was killed and four injured in clashes over fuel outside a gas station in Minya Governorate, Upper Egypt, and on Saturday police said a trader was found in the Mansheyya neighborhood collecting 200 liters of diesel to sell on the black market.

The Interior Ministry said that in Sohag the owner of a petrol pump in Osayrat was found managing the pump without a license and collecting 10,000 liters of diesel. A petroleum products distributor in the same area was found selling 10,000 liters of her government allocation on the black market.

In Kafr al-Sheikh, according to the ministry, 800 liters of subsidized gasoline were seized on the black market, and an oil shop owner in the city was found collecting 400 liters of gasoline to resell on the black market.

The fuel crisis began three months ago and the military-appointed cabinet led by Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri has been much criticized for its handling of the situation. The Muslim Brotherhood is planning to withdraw confidence in the cabinet this week, in part due to what they have called leaders' "invention" of the fuel crisis.

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