11,000 gallons of illegal fuel seized in 2017 – GEA

The Guyana Energy Agency’s (GEA) Fuel Marking Division (FMD) has been able to seize over 11,000 gallons of illegal fuel for 2017 as part of its fight against fuel smuggling. The GEA dispatches teams of inspectors across the various administrative regions in Guyana to take and test samples of fuel to determine whether it has been legitimately imported into the country.
“At the end of November 2017, 32,027 samples were collected from 12,033 sites representing 91 per cent and 83 per cent of the respective targets for 2017. The total quantity of fuel seized for the same period was 11,794 gallons of diesel and gasoline as a result of 28 discoveries of illegal fuel at various locations,” the GEA said on Saturday.
Additionally, the GEA has been able to secure five convictions for 2017 and according to the body’s legal officer, Thandiewe Benn, since the implementation of the Fuel Marking Programme in 2004; they have been able to secure a total of 49 convictions. She added that the work of the GEA to stamp out fuel smuggling is heavily dependent on the support from the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Revenue Authority, and the Guyana Defence Force’s Coast Guard.
The GEA added that the FMD’s inspectorate arm continues to conduct surveillance activities on suspects in the fuel smuggling network with support from the collaborative agencies.
To date, several personalities and their suspected areas of operations have been under surveillance at various times and at least 37 operations have been conducted during the nights targeting suspected smuggling operations. The joint operations, as well as surveillance operations, have significantly contributed to the discoveries of illegal fuel recorded for the year.
In July, the GEA and the GRA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in an effort to continue cooperation and collaboration in the conduct and monitoring of petroleum operations.
Under this MoU, both parties remain affirmed in their respective mandates, while continuing to ensure sharing of information, conduct of joint investigations and surveillance and use of mutual resources to guard against the scourge of fuel smuggling activities to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations of Guyana. The inter agency collaborations for 2017 have resulted in 36 joint operations being carried out, the GEA noted.