The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) appears to be unrelenting in its fight to combat the operations of fuel smugglers in the country’s downstream sector.
The activities of fuel smuggling syndicates have a detrimental effect on the revenue of the Government and Oil Marketing Companies, who are often forced to adjust prices in order to meet estimated revenue.
In February this year, for example, the NPA confiscated petroleum products estimated to be around GHC1 million, which was smuggled into the country.
The regulator said a total number of 28BRVs, 6 canoes, 4 mobile pumps and 5 outboard motors carrying 709,250 litres of illegally smuggled petroleum products with taxes and levies value of GHC1,150,186 have been confiscated.
The arrest, made in collaboration with the security agencies, is part of ongoing plans by the NPA to deal with fraudsters in the industry.
Chief Executive of NPA , Hassan Tampuli said the authority is more than fortified to clamp down on criminal gangs operating in the industry, and nothing will be left amiss in that regard.
In a meeting with Brig. Gen. Peter Nicholas Andoh. Director General Defence Intelligence Agency Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) who paid a courtesy call on him, Mr. Tampuli said measures so far put in place are yielding positive results, something, according to him, the Oil Marketing Companies are attesting to.
He, however, said that the strengthening of existing relations with the security agencies remain a priority to the authority, adding; “ we see it as a duty to facilitate your work” in order to deal with the criminals in the sector.
“Processing of intelligence is equally important and we are highly pleased that you have come to visit us,” he added.
He revealed existing collaboration with the National Security , which has helped the NPA effect several arrests of persons smuggling petroleum products into the country.
Mr. Tampuli said intelligence gathering will remain key, as he expressed optimism that the NPA will benefit from the expertise available to the Intelligence Unit of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Speaking at the meeting, Brig. Gen. Peter Nicholas Andoh said his unit will “effectively” collaborate with the NPA to ensure the operations of fuel fraudsters are addressed, if not completely eliminated.
“We are totally committed to enhancing the intelligence network to help your operations.”