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27.03.2004 General News

Energy Commission to investigate smuggling of fuel

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Accra, March 27, GNA- Government has directed the Energy Commission to work together with the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) to investigate the real situation on the ground as to whether petroleum products were being smuggled outside the country.

The Commission has been tasked to check and ensure that fuel tanks transiting through Ghana should have only the normal tanks prescribed by manufacturers.

The aim of this directive is to discourage the use of reserve tanks, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Minister of Energy said on Thursday.

He said the Commission should also ensure that petrol filling stations do not serve fuel to reserve tanks.

Dr Nduom was speaking in Accra, on availability of petroleum products in the country and their pricing, at a weekly press encounter dubbed "Meet the Press" organized by the Ministry of Information.

He said the Energy Commission should also license companies transporting petroleum products through Ghana and any of the ECOWAS countries.

He stated that it is preferable that, petroleum transporting companies, built tanks to make it possible to easily identify the source of products entering the market.

Also, all foreign Bulk Road Vehicles used for exporting petroleum products through Ghana must be marked "EXPORT" for easy identification in addition to obtaining permit from the Energy Commission.

Dr Nduom said CEPS should also increase surveillance on unapproved routes used for smuggling petroleum products.

He urged the general public to be vigilant and report to the Energy Commission and the CEPS, any case of petroleum smuggling across the country's borders. 27 March 04

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