NPA Clamps Down On Illegal Fuel Dealers

NPA Team at one of the busted adulterated fuel dealers shop,Abdulai Ramatu of Kaase.Photo Godwin Afosu AcheampongThe National Petroleum Authority (NPA) yesterday, embarked on a three-day exercise to clamp down on illegal dealers of petrol and other petroleum pro-ducts, in the Kumasi metropolis of the Ashanti Region.

It formed part of the NPA’s resolve to get rid of people peddling in petrol and other products, since such activities are contrary to the Act regulating the industry.

The exercise, carried out in collaboration with the Ashanti Regional Police Command, covered Atonsu, Dompoase and Kaasi all in Kumasi.

Three suspects were arrested for illegally selling the products either on table tops, in small cans or in bottles.

They were named as Nana Owusu Acheampong, Nimo Kwar-teng and Abdulai Ramatu.

It was not clear how the suspects got their supply of the products, which they sold at very cheap prices in corners of the metropolis.

The police have commenced investigations into the matter.

Briefing the media after the exercise, Head of Public Relations and Consumer Services,Yaro Kasambata, said the peddlers, whose operations posed a danger to both themselves and their immediate surroundings, were not licenced, and so were operating illegally.

“The law establishing the NPA and regulating the downstream industry in the NPA Act 2005, Act 691, Sections 11, 32 and 61(2) prohibits that you indulge in any petroleum business without licence.”

“Section 32, for instance, says that a person, other than a person licenced under the Act, shall not sell or offer for sale a petroleum product or receive a petroleum product,” he said.

“We have observed the trend of people selling petroleum products on table tops and in bottles springing up in some areas in the country, and we have resolved to clamp them down before it gets out of hand”.

He said the NPA was determined to sanitise the industry to ensure that the law worked to perfection in the country and pointed out that the suspects, if found guilty, could be sentenced to prison for a term not exceeding 10 years.

Mr. Kasambata said that the exercise would be replicated throughout the Kumasi metropolis and beyond, and advised the public to desist from dealing in petroleum products without licence from the appropriate quarters.

It emerged that most of the dealers got wind of the exercise and so closed their ‘shops’ and went into hiding.

From Kingsley E. Hope & Gideon Botwe,  Kumasi

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