17 busted for fuel smuggling

The suspects

The suspects

A total of 17 persons suspected to be part of a cartel dealing in smuggling of petroleum products have been arrested by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in collaboration with National Security and the Ghana Armed Forces.

Thirteen of them were arrested following a tip-off that they were transferring fuel from a ship to drums and gallons around the shores of Aflao in the Volta Region.

Seven drums filled with diesel, 76 empty drums, 32 filled yellow gallons (25 litres) of diesel and 20 empty containers were retrieved from them during the operation that lasted for about five hours.

A statement issued by the Corporate Affairs Division of the NPA said the four others were arrested while siphoning fuel from two “canoe tankers” to fuel a tanker vehicle at the Tema Fishing Harbour around 12midnight.

It said the tanker vehicle with registration number GN 2931-12 was impounded along with 16000 litres of fuel, pumping machine and fuel hose but  the tanker boats and its operators escaped arrest as a seaward search mounted for the boats proved futile.

It said four suspects arrested at Tema ;  Ali Christopher, Nii Armah Odatey, Richard Adjetey and Yetawell Immabasalam were in the custody of  the Eastern Naval Command.

The statement said the 13 others were in the custody of  the Aflao District Police Command adding that investigations had commenced into the incident to unravel more details about the operation.

In the case of the 13 suspects, the statement said investigations conducted revealed that the suspects used only text messages to communicate with the captain of the ship.

It said they were only able to identify the particular ship they were to approach, to conduct their illegalities, when lights in all other docked ships are off.

“The NPA is determined to sanitise the industry and therefore urged the public to continue with their support in the fight against fuel smuggling,” the statement said.

By Times Reporter

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