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Government chases petroleum smugglers

Government has reportedly confiscated 28 BRVs, six canoes, four mobile pumps and five outboard motors carrying 709, 250 litres of illegally smuggled petroleum products across Ghana.

Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu who made this known to journalists on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at the Ministry of Information’s Meet The Press Series, said the illegally smuggled petroleum products had taxes and levies value of GH¢ 1,150,186.

Again, he said, additional 15 BRVs carrying 790,000 litres of export petroleum products were confiscated for attempting to dump the products into retail outlets in the country.

Mr. Amewu was giving an update of the Energy Ministry’s performance, achievements and challenges since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration took over affairs of the country on January 7, 2017.

It would be recalled that in July 2015, prices of petroleum products were deregulated on the domestic market.

This, said the Minister, meant that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) would no longer announce petroleum product prices, Bulk Oil Distribution Companies and Oil Marketing Companies were allowed to set their ex-refinery and ex-pump prices respectively in line with the Petroleum Products Pricing Formula.

Mr. Amewu bemoaned that the new arrangement has brought keen competition on the market and has created the incentive for unscrupulous Petroleum Service Providers (PSPs) to take advantage of price disparities and engage in illegal fuel supply activities.

He indicated that “these include: illegal imports via unapproved routes, dumping of export declared products into retail outlets in the country, dumping of Marine Gasoil declared as sold to foreign vessels into retail outlets in the country, diversion of premix fuel from original destinations at landing beach sites, transfer of pricing and finally under-declaration of volumes lifted from various depots within the country.”

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According to the Minister, these activities cost the country millions of Ghana Cedis in tax revenue loss to the State.

He added other costs to the State from the smuggling activities include subsidy abuse and compromise on quality which has the potential to cause damage to internal combustion engines of consumer vehicles as well as emission of harmful exhaust fumes.

He disclosed that a number of solutions were put in place to curb the situation which led to the confiscation of the items mentioned above.

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