The Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu has indicated that about GHC1 million worth of petroleum products smuggled into the country have been confiscated.
According to him, the confiscation was done through a collaboration of state security agencies on the Ghanaian waters.
“A total number of 28BRV’s, 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,” he said.
Addressing journalists at the Meet the Press Series, the Energy Minister revealed that the petroleum price deregulation policy which states clearly that NPA cannot determine the prices of petroleum products, unfortunately, paved way for some unscrupulous petroleum service providers to take advantage of the price disparities and engage in illegal fuel supply activities.
“These service providers engaged in illegal imports of petroleum products via unapproved routes, dumping of marine gas oil declared as sold to foreign vessels into retail outlets in the country, diversion of premix fuel from original destinations at landing beach sites, transfer pricing and finally under-declaration of volumes lifted from various depots within the country,” he noted.
Explaining the weight of such activities of these ‘unscrupulous’ service providers on the country’s coffers, he said, “these activities cost the country millions of Ghana cedis in tax revenue loss to the state, other costs include subsidy abuse and compromise on quality which has the potential to cause damage to internal combustion engines of consumer vehicles as well as emission of harmful exhaust gases”.
According to him, a number of solutions and reforms have been put in place to arrest the situation.