Along with increasing prices of petroleum products,
the smuggled petrol business in Pakistan is also flourishing everyday.
Balochistan province stands on top, where 80% POL products reported to
be smuggled from neighboring country Iran, while Sindh province stands
second where every week two to three new illegal outlets of smuggled POL
products are increasing.
There was no concept of petrol smuggling in Pakistan
in early 90s when POL products were within the reach of every coman man
as prices were Rs. 09.00 of super, Rs. 08.30 of regular and only
Rs.03.86 of H.S. Diesel. There is 398% increase in prices of Petrol
while 500% increase of Diesel with the current prices of petrol at Rs.
37.02 and Rs. 24.47 of Diesel fixed by the Oil Companies Advisory
Committee for this fortnight, (16-5-2004 to 01-6-2004).
The route of smuggled POL products started from
Balochistan areas near Iran border, later enlarged within Balochistan
and than entered into border areas of Sindh province, it captured large
market in Karachi and spread into entire Sindh province within years,
now its heading toward Punjab province in high speed. Unemployment and
easy earning with no investment are also reasons of this illegal trade,
which amounts to the loss of million of rupees annually to the Federal
The smuggled petrol business started with the cover
of permits issued by the defunct commissioner offices for the purposes
of storage of petrol and diesel for construction, industrial and some
commercial purposes, which is titled as 'J' form. Now these permits are
being issued from the District Coordination Officer City District
Government (DCO) Secretariats.
Only DCO Karachi withdrew all the permits issued for
Karachi District when permit holders turned their stock places into
illegal petrol pumps which were more than 100 in numbers on April, 24
2004. Despite the cancellation of permits there are more than 200
outlets in Karachi where smuggled petrol is being sold at cheaper prices
with the help of local police.
According to petroleum dealers and oil companies,
100,000 litres per day of smuggled petrol is being sold in Karachi,
50,000 litres in interior of Sindh, the worst situation is in
Balochistan where sale of Oil Companies of Pakistan has now reduced to
20% of the total consumption.
The DCO Karachi Office and Capital Police Chief have
a list of 95 illegal petrol pumps in Karachi, with the detail of names
of the operators, telephone numbers, photocopies of sale receipts,
addresses and photographs of the outlets, these details and some other
proof have been provided by the Petroleum Dealers Association of
In Karachi, where large number of illegal petrol
pumps are situated include; Saeedabad (9UC-5), Water pump Baldia
Township (UC-6), Nai Abadi Saeedabad (UC-4) Hub Dam Road, Manghopir
Road, Gulshan-e-Ghazi, Surjani Township, Landhi, Safoora Goth, Qasba
More, Ibrahim Hyderi, Mauripur Road, Gulsan-e-Bihar Orangi Town, New
Karachi, Hawkesbay Road and Meva Shah Graveyard. Three major illegal
outlets have been now opened in thickly populated area of Lasbela, Tin
Hatti and Nishtar Road.
The smugglers mafia is using oil tankers apart from
trucks, buses, mini buses plying between Sindh and Balochistan
provinces, large number of these vehicles have installed extra tanks of
1,000 litres, they off load the smuggled petrol to any illegal petrol
pump which gives batter price to them. Some of the transporters have set
up their own illegal pumps and keep smuggling round the clock.
The power and influence of smugglers mafia can be
imagined by the situation on ground, which shows that not a single
operator of illegal petrol pumps in any area of Karachi has been taken
to task despite the fact that, DCO Karachi in his letter to the Capital
City Police Officer, written on April, 24, informed that all the permits
for storage of petrol and diesel had been withdrawn after the
investigation report that permits were misused and resulted setting up
of illegal petrol pumps. The DCO secretariat confirmed in written that
smuggled petrol was being sold in Karachi and number of illegal petrol
pumps were increasing, the smuggling and sale of petrol would take a
parallel position if police did not take any action. Number of meeting
between government and Petroleum Dealers Association and the Oil
Marketing Companies were held during last year and agreed on principle
for serious action against mafia.
An investigation report revealed that huge amount in
the petrol smuggling is involved and transporter and government offices
are benefited. Number of drivers of private vehicles are now being
attracted smugglers give them gifts items apart from petrol on cheap
In Balochistan, mafia does not need any permit as
they do not find any hindrance in selling smuggled petrol even to the
citizens. Some of the illegal petrol pumps have put the signboards and
banners of the Oil Companies logo, operating in Pakistan as matter is
reported to be settled on top level.
Reports said that extra tanks of 1,000 liters are now
being installed in the buses, trucks and other big vehicles plying
between Sindh and Punjab provinces. Many big vehicles do not buy petrol
from Punjab but fill their tanks from Karachi in order to save fuel