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Pakistan Struggles to Stop Its Citizens From Smuggling Oil From Iran

Thousands in Balochistan, a southwestern province in Pakistan, are involved in smuggling oil across the restive border with Iran every year. While the phenomenon is not new, the Pakistan government has recently ordered a halt to the illegal trade as fears mount about economic losses in the billions of rupees. The falling price of Iranian oil also has led to increased smuggling, according to Fatemeh Aman is a non-resident senior fellow at the Middle East Institute. “In a region so economically deprived on both sides of the border, the opportunities for earning a living are often limited to either trafficking drugs or smuggling fuel,” Aman wrote in an article published in March by the Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor. “Fuel carriers lack any other income besides carrying gasoline and diesel fuel from Iran to Pakistan, with the big money going to the organizers. In contrast, drivers and truckers receive only a small …

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