• 4 minutes China 2019 - Orwell was 35 years out
  • 7 minutes Wonders of US Shale: US Shale Benefits: The U.S. leads global petroleum and natural gas production with record growth in 2018
  • 11 minutes Trump will capitulate on the trade war
  • 14 minutes Glory to Hong Kong
  • 2 hours China's Blueprint For Global Power
  • 10 hours Yesterday Angela Merkel stopped Trump technology war on China – the moral of the story is do not eavesdrop on ladies with high ethical standards
  • 9 hours IMO 2020:
  • 4 hours Here's your favourite girl, Tom!
  • 10 hours Brexit agreement
  • 5 hours The Problem Is The Economy, Not The Climate
  • 6 hours Idiotic Environmental Predictions
  • 5 hours The Ultimate Heresy: Technology Can't Fix What's Broken
  • 9 hours Australian Hydroelectric Plant Cost Overruns
  • 1 day World Stocks Drop And Futures Tread Water After China Reports Worst GDP Growth In 30 Years
  • 1 day Deepwater GOM Project Claims Industry First
  • 12 hours NATGAS, LNG, Technology, benefits etc , cleaner global energy fuel
Alt Text

Tesla's 5 Most Inspiring Inventions

While Elon Musk garners most…

Alt Text

A Major Buy Signal For Natural Gas Futures

After weeks of an unpredictable…

Alt Text

Are U.S. Sanctions Killing Crude?

U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and…

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

More Info

Premium Content

Is The Mafia Helping ISIS Smuggle Oil Into Italy?

The Italian mafia may have teamed up with the Islamic State to smuggle crude oil from the Middle East into Italy, an ongoing police investigation has suggested, according to The Times who cited a report by La Repubblica. The Italian daily noted that the police had found substantial amounts of Libyan and Syrian crude that were greater than some local refineries’ inventories, with sources connected with the investigation saying that crude, “should not have been there.”

Yet the police have no evidence that the oil came from IS, or whether it came from another non-extremist group of traffickers, because the cargoes passed through intermediaries, which helped the original senders mask their tracks.

The way the mafia smuggles oil into Italy is by setting up shale companies abroad that act as oil exporters. They sell crude directly to gas station operators at much lower prices, and then close the shell companies. The mafia uses the scheme to avoid VAT payments and to launder money.

The logistics involve tankers rendezvousing with smaller vessels out of Turkey and Libya in the middle of the Mediterranean. The smugglers transfer the oil from the smaller vessels to the larger ones, and then return the small vessels to their country of origin while the bigger tankers set sail for the southern Italian ports. Related: U.S. Shale Is Determined Not To Kill This Rally

It seems that the IS-mafia hypothesis has emerged because of the terrorist group’s heavy reliance on revenues from oil contraband, but recently IS has lost most of the territories it controlled in Syria and Iraq, so its access to oil to smuggle has also declined sharply.

Experts who spoke to La Repubblica were skeptical of such a connection, but last month, journalist Francesca Astorri reported on a propaganda e-book titled Black Flags from Rome, in which the Islamic State said support from the mafia was crucial for its penetration in Italy.

The question remains whether the two organizations are rivals or partners. Their revenue-generating activities are similar, including drug trafficking, goods smuggling, and kidnappings, but the mafia would hardly be well-disposed to a group that essentially wants to encroach on its territory.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment
  • Bill Simpson on August 02 2017 said:
    ISIS is guilty of genocide against the Yazidis which means those who aid them are guilty of conspiracy to commit genocide. Turn them over to The Hague for a genocide trial, and trial on crimes against humanity, war crimes, etc.
    If I was a dictator, I would have any person who aided ISIS in any way put up against a wall and shot because nobody can deny that they didn't know what was going on, since they put video of their mass murders on the internet days after they began their takeover.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play