Investigation targets oil trading scheme as possible complicity in international crimes
Ongoing proceedings regarding alleged complicity in acts of pillage as a war crime deriving from the acquisition of smuggled gasoil from Libya
Type of jurisdiction
Country of residence of suspect
The offenses being investigated have not been made public by the Office of the Attorney General. However, given the occurrence of a non-international armed conflict in Libya during the period considered (2014-2015), the facts could be qualified as complicity in pillage of natural resources amounting to a war crime.
In March 2020, TRIAL International and Public Eye published a joint report concerning their investigation into a case of alleged pillage of smuggled gasoil belonging to the National Oil Corporation, a Libyan state-owned company. The report alleged that the Swiss-based company had purchased the smuggled gasoil from Libya in 2014 and 2015, a time period which coincided with the second Libyan civil war.
The fuel was allegedly diverted from Libyan tanks with the complicity of an armed group. It was then transshipped from Libyan fishing boats to larger vessels chartered by two Maltese businessmen in international waters, and finally transported to Malta. According to the investigation’s findings, the Swiss company purchased more than 50’000 tons of gasoil stored in tanks in the Maltese capital between 2014 and 2015.
Several individuals involved in the smuggling operation are currently on trial in Italy.
TRIAL International filed a criminal denunciation in May 2020 against the unknown suspect, and an investigation has been opened.