Coral Oil, Liquigas and the Yamin family refute false claims and asert that they have no ties to Al-Amana or Hezbollah.
It has been a tough past couple of years for Lebanon. With the emergence of COVID-19, the Beirut Blast in August 2020, and a fuel shortage that has left the country economically devastated, Coral Oil continues to be one of the few companies providing the people of Lebanon with much-needed gasoline and diesel fuel.
During this time, Coral has provided essential gasoline and diesel in sufficient quantities to distribution stations, hospitals, bakeries, municipalities, private generators, embassies, universities. The supply allowed them to carry on their duties without public transport and electricity, ensuring some social and economic safety and a sense of security in these dire times. With Coral’s good reputation and network of top suppliers and international banks, it provided Lebanon gasoline and diesel.
Unfortunately, Coral Oil has been the victim of lies and slander during Lebanon’s unprecedented economic and social crisis.
What is being claimed?
In April 2021, the Alma Research and Education Center, a non-profit based out of Israel, made a series of false claims about Coral Oil and Liquigas and the A. Yamin family, who owns both. Their list of false claims included allegations that Coral is transporting fuel to and from the Al-Amana gas stations in Lebanon.
Alma claims a partnership between Al-Amana gas stations and Coral and cites an outdated photo of the Al-Amana logo on a Coral station as evidence.
Sadly, these false claims have been repeated in social media and disseminated by poorly researched articles.
Why the Al-Amana claim is controversial?
On February 26, 2020, the United States Department of Treasury announced that it had sanctioned certain Lebanese institutions linked to Hezbollah, including Al-Amana fuel stations.
What are the facts?
Coral Oil and Al-Amana
Al-Amana is a Lebanese company operating in Lebanon for several years and has dealt with most petroleum companies that import petroleum products, including Coral Oil.
On February 29, 2020, Coral and Liquigas immediately suspended their commercial activities with Al-Amana after the United States Department of Treasury announced sanctions on Al-Amana.
The photo cited by Alma in their April report is from a 2019 news article about a diesel shortage in Lebanon. This photo is from long before the United States issued sanctions against Al-Amana.
Why are Al Amana stations using Coral logo?
All importing companies’ brand logos are on all company-owned and franchised stations. They fall into two categories, those run by individuals or distributors that own several stations in specific locations. Some distributors, such as Al-Amana, began branding the stations with their associated logos to inform customers that they were managing the gas stations.
As soon as the United States Department of Treasury sanctioned Al-Amana, in February 2020, Coral immediately ended its commercial relationship with Al-Amana and subsequently removed its logos.
Coral Oil & Liquigas are fully owned by the A. Yamin family (Oscar Yamin, Edgar Yamin, and Antonio Yammine). Coral Oil, Liquigas, and the Yamin family refute allegations and assert that they have no partnerships and are not influenced by any political parties or political figures, including Hezbollah, either directly or indirectly.
Coral Oil and the US Embassy
Coral Oil continues to work with the United Kingdom and the United States embassies to make sure it complies with regulations.
After the sanctions on Al-Amana, Coral sent a delegation to the US Embassy and presented the case to them, along with the necessary documents and proof showing that Coral continued to abide by the United States sanctions and regulations.
Coral Oil and Fuel Smuggling
Lebanese authorities, including the Lebanese Army Intelligence Unit, conducted investigations on the smuggling of fuel to Syria and confirmed on June 8, 2021, in an official letter that “Coral and Liquigas are not involved in fuel smuggling”.
In summary, the Alma article evoked several false allegations and accusations towards Coral based on defaming social media comments and news articles published by hired writers for news platforms that are directed, do not have large outreach, are of questionable credibility, and with suspicious agenda and goals.
This situation induced Alma into error as the writer’s analysis was not based on any official information or source and thus made false accusations that implied links between Coral and Al-Amana hence with Hezbollah.
Despite this negative campaign, both Coral Oil and Liquigas as well as their owners refute such false claims and will continue to provide the much-needed gasoline and diesel fuel to the people of Lebanon. They will continue to stand up against the false accusations designed to divide the nation of Lebanon during this challenging time in the country using all legal methods at their disposal.
Coral remains in compliance with the applicable regulations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Lebanon. Coral cooperates and communicates regularly with the United States and United Kingdom embassies in Lebanon. In addition, Coral is systematically briefing both Embassies with updates, official documents, and evidence in case of any new destructive media allegations.