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25.07.2005 Regional News

Prosecute those who siphon premix fuel - Coordinator

GNA

Cape Coast, July 25, GNA - Alhaji Mustapha Mohammed, Central Region Coordinator for Premix Fuel on Monday, expressed concern about the way some tanker drivers siphon the fuel, leading to shortage in its supply to fishermen.

He called on the Police to prosecute two drivers who were caught siphoning the fuel in Cape Coast and Moree, to serve as a deterrent. The Coordinator, who expressed these concerns in an interview with the GNA at Cape Coast, said 180,000 gallons of the fuel had been supplied to fishermen in the region between May and June this year. Alhaji Mohammed stated that because of the malpractice, tanker supply of the fuel fall short in some cases, as much as between 200 and 250 gallons.

He claimed that after siphoning the fuel, the drivers sold it to wayside fuel dealers and said everything was being made to "flush out such drivers".

He expressed regrets that in spite of the arrest of the two drivers, the practice was still going on and called on the various premix committees to be alert to report or arrest any tanker driver who failed to off-load his full supply.

Alhaji Mohammed urged Chief Fishermen to ensure that the fuel was hoarded to create an artificial shortage.

He said that more of the fuel was expected for the bumper season and warned that anyone caught selling the fuel above the approved price, would be dealt with.

Alhaji Mohammed called on the Ministry of Fisheries to consider establishing cold stores in all fishing communities to store enough fish for the lean season.

Mr John Afful, a fisherman in Cape Coast, called on the government to reduce the current price of 21,000 cedis a gallon for the premix, saying they were mostly operating at a loss, since they do not always get large catches.

He said as a result, they are forced to sell fish at a high price to offset the price of the fuel/ Alhaji Mohammed expressed the hope that there would be a bumper catch this season and said Cape Coast, Elmina, Apam and Abandze have already begun making big catches.

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