GPS tracking devices have been placed in cars and other transportation vehicles involved in the distribution of petroleum products across the country, in order to track the movement and distribution process of fuel and prevent smuggling, according to a senior official at the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).
Smuggling operations, which have recently seen a spike, are generally carried out through the tunnels at the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, or by sea. These illegal fuel sales are undertaken in territorial waters at global prices.
The EGPC faced this smuggling problem due to an inability to follow-up on the fuel distribution process, to ensure that shipments were arriving to warehouses and then to power stations. To combat the problem, tracking devices have been installed on transport vehicles to monitor their routes, according to the official.
He added that smartcard machines have been installed in these vehicles as well, so as to monitor the amounts received by the vehicles at loading warehouses via the smartcard.
The petroleum sector has been dealing with smuggling of about 20% of the total amount of fuel that is pumped annually for the local market, as a result of the inability to monitor and control the distribution of petroleum products, as the official said.
The official commented that Egypt has been facing a crisis in petroleum products over the past two years due to smuggling.