The Iraqi government praised the ruling of the Presidency of the Basra Court of Appeal against oil smugglers, which was issued earlier today, Sunday, stressing that it will stand up to those it described as “tampering” with the people’s wealth.
The government spokesman, Basem Al-Awadi, said in a statement received by Shafaq News Agency, “In confirmation of the continuous follow-up by the Prime Minister, Muhammad Shia’a Al-Sudani, of the file of fighting corruption, and what is related to oil smuggling crimes, and what he announced more than once in this regard, great efforts that resulted in dismantling the largest smuggling networks, and arresting dozens of smugglers during the past months, with great and unprecedented efforts from the relevant government agencies.
And he continued, “The Prime Minister appreciates the effective and vital role of the Supreme Judicial Council and the competent courts that issued deterrent rulings against a group of them. He also values the heroic role of the National Security Apparatus, which had the main role in following up and exposing this devastating file for the national economy, and reaffirms that the government will stand against it.” All those who tamper with the wealth of the Iraqi people, including smugglers or trespassers on public money, according to the law and the judiciary, and that it is determined to put a final end to this file that has been neglected for many years.
Today, the Iraqi judiciary issued its verdict in the case of the largest oil smuggling network in Basra, which included officers.
A source told Shafaq News Agency, that the Presidency of the Basra Court of Appeal issued a temporary prison sentence of 15 years against (10) defendants, including officers, for smuggling oil and its derivatives through the process of piercing and sabotaging oil pipelines in Hamar Musharraf, the Halfayat Fao pipeline, and the well Hammar Musharraf al-Faw.
In early November 2022, the National Security Agency revealed the details of overthrowing a large network of crude oil theft and smuggling in Basra Governorate, in the far south of Iraq, and indicated that among the members of the network were senior officers and merchants, and explained that the smuggled quantities are estimated at 75 million liters per month.
On the same day, a document obtained by Shafaq News Agency revealed the arrest of nine senior officers, including the Director General of the Energy Police, Major General Ghanem Muhammad Jaafar Hassan, in connection with the issue of smuggling oil derivatives.
The list also included, in addition to Major General Ghanem, 4 officers with the rank of brigadier general, who are the director of the North Oil Police, the Central Oil Police, the Director of Administration in the Energy Police Directorate, and the Director of North Controls.
It also included two officers with the rank of colonel: the director of the Relations and Media Department, the Office of the Director General of the Energy Police, and the commander of the Dora Refinery Regiment, in addition to an officer with the rank of lieutenant. colonel (Director of the Central Oil Police Controls Department) and an officer with the rank of Major (Relationship and Media Department accompanying the Director General of the Energy Police).
In the context, Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani said, in a tweet: “We directed to track down oil smuggling networks and implement arrest warrants against the gangs that dared and invaded to steal the rights of Iraqis, and with God’s help, the detachments of the National Security Agency, in cooperation with other agencies, managed to dismantle the largest oil smuggling network.” in Basra.”