Resold via gas stations: Thieves tapped hundreds of thousands of liters of kerosene from the NATO pipeline

Resold through gas stations
Thieves tapped hundreds of thousands of liters of kerosene from the NATO pipeline

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Thieves steal around 800,000 liters of aircraft fuel, bring it to Italy and sell it to unsuspecting drivers at gas stations. Particularly spectacular: They tap the kerosene from a NATO pipeline. The case dates back a few years, but now a spokeswoman for the alliance is revealing further details.

At the end of the last decade, large quantities of kerosene were stolen from a NATO pipeline system and then sold to unwitting drivers at gas stations. As a spokeswoman for the defense alliance has now confirmed, criminals had tapped one of the pipes in the pipe system for the theft in a field not far from the Belgian-French border. The crime was discovered in June 2019, it said. It’s about 800,000 liters of aircraft fuel that were stolen.

A few days ago, the financial police in Rimini reported for the first time about extensive investigations into the case in Italy. According to them, the stolen kerosene was brought to Italy by a local gang and sold illegally to unwitting drivers. It was initially not known whether there was any damage to vehicles.

Important part of the NATO defense system

The Italian police even put the amount of fuel stolen at around 900,000 liters. The case is particularly explosive because the tapped Central European pipeline system (CEPS) is an important part of the NATO defense system. It covers Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and is designed to meet the Alliance’s petroleum product needs at all times. For example, it connects air force bases such as those in Ramstein and Büchel in Rhineland-Palatinate with storage facilities, pumping stations and feed-in points.

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