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NPA to amend Act to clamp down on petroleum smugglers

The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority, NPA, Mr Hassan Tampuli, has said his outfit will seek for the amendment of the Act establishing the Authority to enable it to apply tougher sanctions for petroleum theft.

The NPA, in February this year, confiscated petroleum products smuggled into Ghana, estimated to be about GHC1 million.

The regulator said a total number of 28BRV, six canoes, four mobile pumps and five outboard motors carrying 709,250 litres of illegally smuggled petroleum products, with taxes and levies value of GHC 1, 150,186, had been confiscated.

The arrest was made in collaboration with the security agencies.

Speaking in London at the oil and fuel supply chain security conference on how to prevent fuel fraud, Mr. Tampuli said after more than 10 years of its establishment, it was only appropriate that the Law be reviewed to enable the NPA to apply heavy sanctions for smuggling.

In the meantime, Mr. Tampuli said his outfit would continue to deploy technology to help block smuggling channels, while other channels were explored to combat fuel theft.

“We intend going forward to use more technology like the use of flow meters at the depots and fuel receiving facilities,” he said, adding; “We insist that if they don’t get the flow meters at those facilities, we will procure for them and ensure that they are working.”

The conference brought together petroleum experts and security agencies from Africa, Europe, North and South America, to find ways of collaborating to deal with smuggling, as well as cross border petroleum theft.

Mr. Tampuli, said Ghana had enjoyed effective collaboration with neighbouring countries such as Nigeria, but said a lot more needed to be done to ensure the operations of the fuel cabal were dealt with.

“Ghana has taken a position to deal ruthlessly with the problem as it impacts on tax revenue. We are confident that the measures rolled out, and others to be rolled out shortly, will help minimise, if not eradicate the menace.”

Mr. Tampuli said the partnership with the security agencies meant patrols at both the Eastern and Western coastlines to facilitate arrests of smugglers will continue.

“GRA Customs monitors movement at the borders and facilitates asset confiscation and disposal of products.”

He also said the Government is willing to combat the activities of petroleum smuggling gangs and warned that everything would be done to protect businesses working within the rules.

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Written by Francis Brownson

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