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|In Pictures: Smuggling Fuel By Sea In West Africa by johnie: 5:39pm On Apr 16, 2012|
On a narrow and sandy strait in Togo dozens of men, women and children plunge into the ocean and return with numerous containers which have been towed to shore by swimmers. Fuel is much cheaper in Nigeria compared to its neighbours as the government subsidises its price.
Daily deliveries provide an alternative supply to Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali. The fuel is sold at up to 30% less than at the licensed pumps.
To ensure their valuable stock stays secure, young men take turns living in a small room with the fuel that has been smuggled out of Nigeria.
Young woman carrying fuel containers
Man by fuel bottles
A young woman carries empty jerry cans into a warehouse at the Togo-Benin border. A full barrel can be worth up to $300 (£190). Nigeria says the fuel subsidy costs the equivalent of more than $8bn a year, and attempted to cut it in January, but reversed its decision after a nationwide strike.
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