The implementation of the “Action Plan for Combating Fuel Smuggling”, which was prepared with the contributions of relevant institutions, in order to create a more effective control mechanism in the fight against fuel smuggling continues.
In this context, a workshop was held in Afyonkarahisar on September 30-October 1, 2022 with the participation of the administrative judiciary and the institutions responsible and authorized in the fight against fuel smuggling in order to increase the cooperation between institutions.
In this context, technical working groups were formed in order to make regulations regarding foreign sales and to establish a system where physical and financial movements of fuel can be monitored.
While the secondary legislation on the fight against fuel smuggling was updated, a public service announcement was prepared to increase public awareness.
1404 tons of smuggled fuel seized last year
In this process, market audits continued to detect financial and administrative irregularities in the oil market. As a result of risk analysis studies, inspections and operational activities carried out within the Ministry, 1404 tons of smuggled fuel and non-fuel petroleum products were seized in 2022.
Within the scope of the investigations, 8 thousand 126 tons of illegal fuel and non-fuel petroleum products were detected.
On the other hand, the Fuel Special Team, which continues its activities within the scope of the Ministry of Commerce, carries out its activities effectively with assignments made through the General Directorate of Security, Gendarmerie General Command, Coast Guard Command, Revenue Administration and Tax Inspection Board.
As a result of the legal regulation, the illegal activities of 13 fuel distribution companies and many affiliated dealers, whose activities in the market are considered risky, were revealed. As a result of the work carried out in coordination with the relevant institutions, it contributed to the termination of their obligations and the cancellation of their licenses.
The amount of fake invoices issued by these distribution companies in 5 months from the date of entry into force of the regulation was calculated as 3.8 billion liras, and the resulting public loss was calculated as 1.5 billion liras.
As a result of the audits carried out by the special team by constantly monitoring the smuggling trends in the sector, irregularities defined as crimes in the Tax Procedure Law were detected against 44 dealers who were found to be selling unregistered fuel with illegal secret mechanisms established by interfering with cash registers and automation systems. An investigation was initiated against these dealers and their activities were temporarily suspended.
In addition, dealers who put fake invoices on the market were examined and it was revealed that 58 dealers issued 5.7 billion lira fake invoices in 6 months.
Required investigation has been initiated
The results of the studies carried out by the Ministry were shared with the Tax Inspection Board and the Revenue Administration, and necessary investigations were initiated about these companies.
With the works carried out last year, the preparation of fake fuel purchase-sale invoices by distributor companies and placing these invoices on the domestic market through the dealers, the regulation of the invoice of the fuel legally procured from the distributors by the dealers to the end users operating in different sectors in return for a commission, and the fuel to the market as prepaid/unregistered. Irregularities such as the use of fake invoices in order to give a legal appearance to the shipment and sale of the fuel that is wanted to be supplied to the market through unregistered purchases, and the deletion of the fuel sales data made by interfering with the cash registers and automation systems were prevented.
As a result of the struggle to prevent abuses carried out by foreign sales method, approximately 53 billion liras of public loss was prevented.