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Dr. Ian Ralby Launches Major Report on Global Oil Theft

Dr. Ralby is a UMBC alum with a BA in MLLI and an MA in INCC

February 6, 2017 10:40 AM

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 13 January 2017 — Today, I.R. Consilium, LLC, in cooperation with the Atlantic Council and with generous support from SICPA, released the first-ever major study on global downstream oil theft—a form of criminal enterprise that threatens to destabilize states and regions around the world. Titled Downstream Oil Theft: Global Modalities, Trends and Remedies, the report was produced by I.R. Consilium’s team of Dr. Ian Ralby, CEO; Ms. Rohini Ralby, Managing Director; and Dr. David Soud, Head of Research and Analysis. Dr. Ralby is a UMBC alum with a BA in Modern Languages and Linguistics and an MA in Intercultural Communication. He was UMBC’s 2002 Valedictorian and recipient of a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. The study was formally launched today at the Atlantic Council’s inaugural Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi.

The report sets forth how downstream oil theft—criminal misdirection of oil and oil products at any point after transfer to refineries—is a burgeoning global issue. Citing “theft, fraud, smuggling, laundering, [and] corruption,” the report details how such criminal activity “has become a significant threat not only to local and regional prosperity but also to global security and stability.” The document’s three parts present ten case studies examining downstream oil theft in a range of geographic settings, analyze trends in downstream hydrocarbons crime, identify key stakeholders, and recommend approaches to confronting this growing challenge. The study establishes that downstream oil theft is not merely an isolated criminal activity; it also serves to finance terrorist groups, violent insurgents, and organized crime syndicates.

As the report makes clear, downstream hydrocarbons crime is a complex and sometimes ambiguous problem; its perpetrators “range from sophisticated and sinister international networks to well-meaning humanitarian service providers on limited budgets in poor and desperate communities.” Addressing the challenge in all its facets will require international cooperation, reform, regulations and standards, direct intervention, and concreate countermeasures, all of which are discussed in the report. The formal presentation of Downstream Oil Theft featured an expert panel including Dr. Ralby as well as Éric Besson, former Minister of Industry, Energy, and Digital Economy for France; Dr. John C. Gannon, former Chair of the U.S. National Intelligence Council; and Kola Karim, Group CEO at Shoreline Energy International.

To contact I.R. Consilium or Dr. Ian Ralby, please address inquiries to