Trading in smuggled fuel | Lebanese Hezbollah keeps making more money in Syria
Lebanese Hezbollah has been still making great fortune at the expense of the Syrian and Lebanese people through trading in fuel smuggled from Lebanon to Syria, as smuggling operations by Hezbollah and the 4th Division, headed by Maher al-Assad the brother of the Syrian regime’s president, have alarmingly escalated via crossings on the Syria-Lebanon border in Homs countryside.
It is worth noting that the smuggled fuel is being merchandised in black markets in all Syrian provinces starting from Homs.
This development comes as a part of the exploitation of the Syrian people’s urgent need fuel, which forces them to buy fuel at black markets in light of the Syrian regime’s inability to secure it in petrol stations. Hezbollah also exploits the Lebanese people who have already been grappling with chronic crises.
On May 30, SOHR reported that Iran continued its efforts to impose influence over the entire Syrian geography, despite rivalry by the Russians and cold war between the two sides in light of the symbolic regime domination. Being the ultimate Iranian-backed influential power in Syria, the Lebanese Hezbollah came to the top of events at a time when the Iranians have entrenched their presence at all levels, including the military and economic sectors, via their affiliates and proxy Syrian and non-Syrian militias.
For years, Hezbollah made too much money through narcotics trafficking as well as its domination on oil fields with the Iranians and their proxies, exploiting the situation on the ground and the Syrian people’s dire living conditions.
In this report, the Syrian Observatory would like to shed light on another source generating massive profits for the Lebanese Hezbollah, the trafficking of fuel smuggled from Lebanon.
Reliable SOHR sources confirmed that smuggling fuel from Lebanon and promoting in Syria alarmingly escalated. Such operations run by the Lebanese Hezbollah and the forces of the 4th Division, headed by Maher al-Assad who is the brother of the Syrian regime’s president, exploiting the economic sanctions imposed on the Syrian regime. Under such sanctions, the Syrian regime was unable to meet the people’s need of fuel, which spur the Syrians to turn to the black markets. With the Lebanese Hezbollah taking advantage of the current situation, it has brought in massive amounts of fuel, mostly petrol and oil, from Lebanon to Syria via unofficial crossings it controls in Homs countryside, turning the region into a major source for black markets throughout Syria.
According to SOHR sources, the prices of fuel that Hezbollah trade in were set as follows:
- Oil: 2,000 SYL per litre
- Petrol “octane 95”: 2,500 SYL per litre
While the regime’s official prices are as follows:
- Oil: 185 SYL per litre
- Petrol “octane 95”: 750 SYL per litre
It is worth noting that Hezbollah sells fuel in Syria at prices that were five times higher than in Lebanon. For example, a can of petrol is sold in Lebanon at three USD, while it was sold in Syria at 16 USD.
SOHR sources confirmed that there were stalls for selling fuel smuggled by Hezbollah along a three-kilo-metre-long area from Homs refinery to Jisr al-Tinah. Furthermore, this smuggled fuel was transported to all Syrian provinces.
It seems that the US and economic sanctions imposed on the Syrian regime have helped the Lebanese Hezbollah to make great fortune, exploiting the crises plaguing the Syrian people.