The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in collaboration with National Security and the Ghana Armed Forces have arrested 13 persons suspected to be part of a cartel smuggling petroleum products.
The suspects, whose identities are yet to be disclosed were arrested upon a tip-off.
[contextly_sidebar id=”uBRV95qyX3vo5sr4jrXROy3JNtp4RGTb”]They were arrested while transferring fuel from a ship to drums and gallons around the shores of Aflao in the Volta Region.
According to the NPA, preliminary investigations conducted revealed that the suspects used only text messages to communicate with the captain of the ship and are only able to identify the particular ship they are to approach to conduct their illegalities when lights in all other docked ships are off.
Four other persons are in the custody of the Eastern Naval Command for engaging in illegal siphoning of fuel from 2 “canoe tankers” to a fuel tanker vehicle.
The four; Ali Christopher, Nii Armah Odatey, Richard Adjetey and Yetawell Immabasalam, who were arrested while they were engaging in the illegal act at Tema Fishing Harbour around 12 midnight.
6 fuel smugglers arrested
The Ghana Navy in May this year, made a similar arrest of fuel smugglers at the Tema fishing habour.
It nabbed six persons who were caught in the act after a tip-off. They were transferring the product from a canoe into a standby tanker.
The suspects were illegally smuggling the product into the country.
Ghana loses $200m in 2 years over fuel smuggling
Ghana is said to have lost $200 million in both 2016 and 2017 as a result of the smuggling of fuel into the country, the National Petroleum Authority has revealed.
According to the Head of Research at the Authority, Shiela Abiemo, there is no record for 300,000 metric tonnes of fuel used in the country and no taxes are paid on them.
The illegal activity which is done through depots mainly in Tema and Takoradi is one of the major challenges affecting the petroleum sector.
The trend is said to be a syndicate between black marketers and border officials.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citinewsroom.com/Ghana