In the midst of the biggest economic catastrophe ever to hit Sri Lanka, millions of people are struggling. Foreign exchange reserves in government coffers are depleting, and there is not enough money to import basic goods like fuel.

A CNA report describes Akshant, a tuk tuk driver in Sri Lanka, yet he earns three times as much money. This is due to the fact that he has recently been selling petrol on the illegal market during a severe shortage. From the driver's seat of his crimson car, the 59-year-old declared, "It is more profitable than driving a tuk tuk."

The three-wheeled open car was parked in a quiet Colombo neighborhood where lines outside gas stations typically go for several kilometers.

"If I buy 5 liters of petrol, I'll unload 3 liters and sell it to other people," he explained. Over the past few months, Akshant (not his real name) has profited from selling petrol.

A liter of gasoline costs approximately 450 Sri Lankan rupees ($1.26) at gas stations. But he sells them for 2,500-3,000 rupees per liter at his house, where fuel containers are kept for the black market. "My customers are motorcyclists and tuk tuk drivers. The owners of other vehicles don't buy from me because they'd need 50-60 liters. I can't give them that much," he told CNA.

"We must wait three to four days to receive fuel, and each time we can only receive 2,500 rupees' worth of it. That is insufficient. As a result, some people would remove the petrol from their cars and sell it for more money. Akshant stated, "I've also started doing it.

The 22 million-person island nation is now legally in default after neglecting to pay its debt interest in May. With rising living expenses and acute fuel and pharmaceutical shortages, its economic collapse has seriously impacted many aspects of life. Fuel imports would be capped for the following 12 months, according to Kanchana Wijesekera, Sri Lanka's minister of power and energy.

Rising inflation and the fuel crisis have created business opportunities for people like Akshant. Locals with disposable income who lack the time to stand in line are his clients. Instead of waiting in line for hours and sleeping on the road, they are willing to pay more for petrol at outrageous prices.

The illegal fuel trade is expanding throughout the nation, even in Colombo, the nation's business hub, where priceless item is rationed out to consumers.