The government decided to back red diesel prices during winter for some of Lebanon’s coldest areas. As a result, the price was slashed from 29,300 to 26,300LL.
One day before the expiry date, around midnight, 8 million liters of red diesel were distributed by the Tripoli Refinery at the discounted price of 26,300LL.
The next day, they were sold to the Lebanese at 29,300LL according to some reports, which means that profits of 3000*(8,000,000/20) = 1,200,000,000 (or 800,000$) were made.
Fingers are pointing at Energy minister Gebran Bassil for being behind this scandal, and investigations are underway with the Tripoli refinery officials.
You’d expect the minister or officials to resign following such a scandal, but I say it will be forgotten within a week time.
Update: According to the head of Audit bureau, Judge Aouni Ramadan, the amount of diesel sold neared the 100 million liters and not just 800,000$. [Naharnet]
Update2: I corrected the profits made as the 8 million liters should have been divided by 20 as pointed out by few readers. That doesn’t however justify stealing money still.