At the end of November this year 32,027 samples were collected by the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) from 12,033 sites representing 91% and 83% of the respective targets for 2017 and the total quantity of fuel seized for the same period was 11,794 gallons of diesel and gasoline.
This was disclosed by the Guyana Energy Agency in a statement yesterday. It said that 28 discoveries of illegal fuel were made at various locations.
Additionally, five convictions, from ongoing prosecutions, have been recorded as at November 2017. According to Thandiewe Benn, Legal Officer of the GEA “…the five convictions recorded for 2017 brings the total number of convictions, since the implementation of the Fuel Marking Programme in 2004, to forty nine.
Benn further stated that the work of the GEA in the interdiction of offenders is supported by the Guyana Police Force, Guyana Revenue Authority, and the Guyana Defence Force’s Coast Guard who provide critical support to the GEA.
In July, 2017, the release said that the GEA and GRA also executed a Memorandum of Understanding in an effort to continue cooperation and collaboration in the conduct and monitoring of petroleum operations. Under this MOU, both parties affirmed 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. The Inter Agency collaborations for 2017 have led to 36 joint operations being undertaken, the release said.
The Fuel Marking Division’s Inspectorate arm continues to conduct surveillance activities on suspects in the fuel smuggling network with support from the aforementioned Agencies, the GEA said.
To date, several personalities and their suspected areas of operations have been under surveillance at various times as, 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.
The Fuel Marking Division has always endeavoured to execute its mandate in an effective, efficient and equitable manner.
“The task of maintaining an effective programme however requires the assistance of members of the public. If you have information or knowledge of suspected fuel smuggling activities, please do not hesitate to contact the Guyana Energy Agency on 226-4424, ext 239, 202, or 204. Remember, fuel smuggling affects everyone”, the release said.