On June 6, AmCham had the chance to host Dr. Ian Ralby, CEO of I.R. Consilium, on the subject of oil theft and its implications for Europe and Poland. While we tend to think that oil theft is mostly an issue for developing and oil producing nations, illicit oil trade cost the European Union around €4 billion in taxable revenue in just 2012. Out of that €4 billion, it cost €1.2 billion to the Polish government alone. This trend is, of course, driven by the consumer's desire for more fuel affordability and due to Poland's high fuel taxes, a new smuggling route has been established from cheaper markets such as Belarus and Russia's enclave of Kaliningrad.
A whopping 45% of Poland's fuel is provided by illegal, unmarked providers, but the government has stepped up its efforts against the so-called 'fuel mafia'. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion and another presentation by the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, informing the attendees of the security services OSAC offers in Poland.
For Mr. Ralby's full report with the Atlantic Council, make sure you click here.