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query: illegal gasoil smuggling

Does anyone on the list know about government-run illegal gasoil exports
from Iraq?

I am really looking for the estimated size of this operation in
comparison to legal exports under oil-for-food, or even vague estimates
of the amount of money implicated - the Independent reported last
November that it was a "large-scale" operation, and Robin Cook said that
"substantial sums" were involved. In real terms, what do they mean?
Apparently the UN Sanctions Committee has been provided with "detailed
reports" of the smuggling activities. Has anyone come across these?

Despite the British government's own acknowledgement that the proceeds
of smuggling go to the Republican Guard, to Saddam Hussein's personal
entourage, and (perhaps) to a secret weapons  program (as well as the
fact that any large-scale smuggling operation just proves that sanctions
on exports can't work), the issue has been used on occasion to undermine
anti-sanctions arguments: "how can people be suffering under sanctions,
when all that smuggling is going on?"

Comments will be appreciated...

Harriet Griffin
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