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oil and gasApril 18, 2021

Ghajar Says Smuggling to Syria behind Gasoline Shortage Crisis

Caretaker Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar announced Thursday that smuggling to Syria is behind Lebanon’s gasoline shortage crisis.

“We demonstrated the reasons of the gasoline crisis, and it turned out to us that the main reason for the current scarcity is the smuggling to outside Lebanon due to the difference in prices between Lebanon and Syria,” Ghajar said after a meeting on the crisis that was chaired by Caretaker PM Hassan Diab.

“The price of 20 liters of gasoline in Lebanon is LBP 40,000 while the official price in Syria is 140,000 Syrian pounds,” Ghajar added.

“The demand for gasoline in the Syrian market is pushing Lebanese smugglers to smuggle gasoline to Syria to achieve hefty gains, knowing that this substance is subsidized by the Lebanese state for Lebanese citizens,” the minister went on to say.

He added that the solution lies in “controlling the price of this substance,” noting that “subsidization won’t be lifted before approving ration cards as part of the rationalization plan.”

Addressing citizens, Ghajar said there is no need to hoard gasoline, because the government “will not lift subsidization in the near future.”

He also called on the army and security forces to “boost inspection on the official and unofficial borders to curb smuggling.”