Fears About Russian Oil Being Mixed Up and Re-Exported to Europe

A Moroccan MP has charged some Moroccan businesses with falsifying receipts and import documents for Russian oil in order to make it seem as though their energy goods originated in the US or the US Gulf.

Rabat – Concerns have been raised in several studies about the role played by North African energy firms in blending Russian oil with other energy products for re-export.

Russia has been turning to broadening its partnerships within Africa as a result of Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.

Several reports state that before the wave of Western sanctions on Russian energy goods, the Russian government had been boosting its energy supply to Morocco.

The Wall Street Journal noted on January 25 that concerns have been raised about Russian oil cargoes “being blended with other oil products and re-exported,” but that the EU ban on Russian oil products “appears to have created a new market of exporting back to Europe Russian products via third countries.”

The Wall Street Journal stated that this technique “complicates Western efforts to eliminate Russian fossil fuels from their economy” and conceals the products’ true provenance.

MOROCCAN ENERGY COMPANIES FALSIFY IMPORT PAPERWORK IN ORDER TO PROFIT GREATLY

Late last month, a Moroccan Lawmaker expressed similar worries, criticizing what he called Moroccan energy corporations’ manipulation of the sources of the goods being offered on the Moroccan gasoline market.

Abdelkader Taher, a Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) member, asked the Ministry of Economics a question in which he urged the government to launch an investigation into the matter and accused some businesses of fabricating import paperwork, including receipts.

Taher claimed that while certain Moroccan businesses involved in this “manipulation” scheme acquire Russian gas, which is 70% less expensive than goods from other nations, they also falsify import documentation to make it appear as though their goods are coming from the US or the GCC. The MP outlined how doing this allows the businesses to sell their energy products for significantly more money in order to generate “staggering revenues.”

The MP urged the Ministry of Economics to launch an investigation to find out where fuel imports come from and how much they cost. “All of this happens with the explicit complicity of the firm controlling the fuel store in the port of Tanger Med,” the MP stated.

DYSFUNCTIONAL MARKETS AND MONOPOLIES

The news comes as Moroccans around the nation continue to protest the skyrocketing costs of necessities, especially fuel.

Low-income Moroccans have repeatedly criticized the government’s inaction and alleged unwillingness to act by enacting measures that could address the deteriorating situation over the past few weeks, particularly in light of the recent publication of several reports proving the existence of “dysfunctions and manipulations” in the Moroccan energy market.

The government of Morocco was roundly criticized in a report earlier this year for its “refusal to address the problem of monopoly” in the hydrocarbons sector, according to the report published by Morocco’s Government Work Observer.

The Observatory specifically criticized the government for ignoring the Competition Council’s unambiguous warnings, which were made in a recent research that made evident that a network of domineering corporations had monopolized the Moroccan petroleum market.

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