Smuggling Probe Focuses on Fuel Tanker’s Trail

Vessel’s voyages from Libya to Europe provide clues about trafficking of fuel, weapons and people, security officials say

Smuggling Probe Focuses on Fuel Tanker’s Trail


VALETTA, Malta—Western security officials attempting to crack smuggling networks trafficking fuel, weapons and humans across the Mediterranean are focusing on fuel tankers believed to be illegally shipping oil products from Libya to Europe.

Western and Libyan officials believe fuel smugglers use the same networks, vessels and ports that also make Libya a regional hub for trafficking weapons and humans. In recent months, Spanish, French and Maltese officials have begun tracking the movements of vessels in the Mediterranean, hoping to stop the illegal trade, security officials said. Shutting down fuel-smuggling routes could undermine networks that also bring migrants to Europe from Libya, the officials said.

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