The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has cautioned owners of Bulk Road Vehicles (tanker trucks) to desist from the diversion or tampering of the petroleum products in order not to compel the Authority to ban their vehicles from carrying the products if caught.
The NPA Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has revealed that there is a monitoring system in place already to check such illegal activities.
Speaking at a press briefing in Kumasi last Friday, he disclosed that the NPA is partnering with the Ghana Police Service to deal with the menace, which has been a risk to lives and properties.
The NPA CEO said when tanker owners leave the BOST depot, instead them going straight to wherever they are supposed to offload the product, some branch somewhere to engage in unacceptable acts.
“They will go to certain unauthorised yards where they go and tamper with the seal of the Bulk Road Vehicles and siphon fuel. So now, we have to do real-time monitoring and by that action, immediately we see that a tanker truck is diverting, we will call the nearest police to take the necessary action,” he said.
These concerns come after a fire broke out at Kaase in the Ashanti region when a tanker driver and a tricycle rider were siphoning fuel from a tanker last month.
Reports say the fire swept through makeshift structures used as homes by some squatters and also caused damage to other properties.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid indicated that the illegal and unfortunate issues were being investigated, warning that the Authority would crack the whip on tanker owners who are violating the laws.
He emphasised that his primary objective is to ensure that rules and regulations regarding the business are strictly adhered to by various players in the petroleum downstream industry.
The illegal activity, which is said to be dominant through depots in Tema and Takoradi, is one of the major challenges affecting the NPA and petroleum sector at large.