The Accra Regional Police Command yesterday morning busted two persons engaged in sale of petroleum products in gallons to unsuspecting customers in Accra and other cities without lawful authority.
The suspects, Razak Karimu, 35, and Shamsudin Sullemana, 25, are currently with the police, assisting in investigation.
The arrest was made following information received from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) last Thursday, May 4, that some persons at the Alajo junction within the Accra metropolis are engaged in illegal sale of petroleum products in gallons to unsuspecting customers, contrary to Section 11(1) of Act 691 of (Act 2005).
The NPA Act 691, section 11.(1) states, “A person shall not engage in a business or commercial activity in the downstream industry unless that person has been granted a license for that purpose by the Board of NPA.”
Section 32 (1) of the NPA Act 691, further reads that, “A person, other than a person licensed under the Act, shall not , (a) sell or offer for sale a petroleum product, or (b) be in possession of a petroleum product in quantities unreasonably in excess of that person’s immediate requirement, or (c) Receive a petroleum product for sale. ”
The police said the suspects did not possess any legal documentation to give proof of grant of license to sell petroleum products in gallons and therefore making their activities illegal, contrary to the NPA Act 691.
Briefing the media in Accra yesterday, the Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Osabariman Oware Asare Pinkro, said the regional command received complaints to the effect that, ” some people have been selling petroleum products in gallons at Alajo junction against the provision of the law.”
According to the police commander, upon receipt of the information, the police, with support from the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and some staff of the NPA, placed surveillance in the area and eventually had the information on the suspects.
He told the media that, early yesterday, the regional command dispatched a team of policemen to the area and caught Karimu and Sullemana in the act, where they were off-loading gallons of the petroleum products from a VW Mini Van, with registration No.GT7869-H and arrested them.
DCOP Asare Pinkro said, the police retrieved the 50,”20 litres of fuel, while the MiniVan was also impounded and taken to the police station, pending further investigations.
He stated that, beside the action being contrary to the NPA Act, the sale of petroleum products in gallons also posed a danger to the public safety, especially where there is fire nearby.
Karimau and Sullemana, the Regional Commander said, would be processed for court, while effort was being made to break through more of their accomplices who might be operating at other places in the city.
The duo, the police chief said, claimed they got the consignments from fuel tanker drivers and that of other company drivers who usually sell the product to them at a cheaper price on black market trading.
Most recently, the police said there were news reports to the effect that, over 4,000 employees of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) risked losing their jobs if the activities of black market trading in petroleum continue in the country.
But DCOP assured that the police would forever be on the heels of persons involved in activities of illegal sale of petroleum products and urged the general public, especially drivers and vehicle owners, to assist the police with information on such criminals.
He also warned that, any person caught in patronizing petroleum products from the black market would be dealt with according to the laws, stating, “when drivers stop patronizing illegal petroleum products, the black market on petroleum products business will collapse.”
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com / Felix Engsalige Nyaaba