Monday, July 16, 2012 -
Smuggling of petroleum products between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan has slowed to a trickle, according to a top Kyrgyz oil industry official on Monday.
“Smuggling now accounts for only about 0.3 percent of imported volumes” to Kyrgyzstan, Association of Oil Traders chief Zhumakadyr Akeneyev told the Knews.kg news agency.
“Since the beginning of the year, [authorities] recorded only five-six cases.”
Oil smuggling from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan was widespread a few months ago, stemming from Russia’s decision to export duty-free petroleum products to Kyrgyzstan while hiking export fees on petroleum exports to Tajikistan.
Smugglers took advantage of the loosely patrolled Kyrgyz-Tajik border in the Batken province to smuggle fuel illegally.
A year ago, Akeneyev estimated that 1,000 tons of fuel are being smuggled into Tajikistan each day from the Kyrgyz Batken territory.
Since then, the Kyrgyz government created a coordinating center to tackle the illegal activity, using all available forms of enforcing the law.
Kyrgyz authorities were concerned that Russia would begin charging export fees on petroleum goods if they did not bring the smuggling to an end.