The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) Inspectors have made a total of seven discoveries of illegal fuel and over 9,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel have been seized for 2018, thus far.
This is as a result of visiting 3,191 sites and collecting 8,339 fuel samples for the first quarter of the year, GEA said in statement.
It was outlined that in 2017, 29 discoveries of illegal fuel were made over 11,000 gallons of illegal gasoline and diesel were seized after visits were made to some 12,882 sites and 33,891 samples were collected.
According to the GEA, the statistics for 2018 to date “represents an achievement of 22% and 24% respectively for its annual target.”
For 2017, the GEA said it recorded 6 convictions. “Compensation was accepted from 4 individuals under GEA’s legislation in the sum of $1,237,000.” For 2018 however, there were two convictions so far and three matters are ongoing.
The GEA said that the Legal & Licensing Division of their Agency serves to execute a primary function within the entity through ‘monitoring the performance of the energy sector in Guyana, including the production, importation, distribution and utilisation of petroleum and petroleum products’.
The preceding is further regulated and guided by the provisions of the Petroleum and Petroleum Products Regulations 2014 permitting the issuance of licences of the various categories (import, wholesale, retail, bulk transportation carrier, storage, export, consumer installation) and site and vehicle inspections to ensure safety and environmental compliance.
These licences are required for the conduct of different types of activities concerning petroleum and petroleum products.
Petroleum and petroleum products include diesel, gasoline, kerosene, aviation fuel, lubricants and LPG.
Recently, it was reported that a ship suspected to be smuggling fuel was intercepted by the GEA and Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) following an operation.
According to reports in sections of the media, the vessel called the ‘Jubilee’ purchased fuel from neighbouring Trinidad with Suriname as its destination port.
After the deal fell through, however, the vessel reportedly docked in port Georgetown last week Friday.
Reports indicate that GEA agents boarded the vessel, which was carrying over 200,000 gallons of unmarked, undeclared fuel after the crew was unable to provide the requisite documentations.
GRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statia, said on Tuesday that the vessel was not seized, but the Agency has impounded the vessel until the taxes have been paid. He noted that the directors of the company that own the shipping vessel will have to pay some $36 million in taxes to GRA.
At present, the GRA is examining records from the Maritime Administration and Demerara Harbour Bridge to determine the number of times the vessel had entered Guyana.
The Commissioner-General said this will determine if there was some logistical issues or if the vessel was in fact smuggling fuel. However, he said some inadequacies were discovered at the Customs Boathouse.
According to him, persons made attempts to falsify an entry after the boat was already boarded.
Information reaching this publication, suggests that a senior Government official and a local sports heavyweight have direct links to the vessel, which is owned by a company incorporated in Guyana under the Companies Act in 2016.
This publication was also informed that these individuals have been shareholders of the company since 2017.
Statia said a similar seizure last year, saw the captain being fined $20 million to release the vessel.