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Politicians Involve in Illegal Oil Trade – COPEC

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The Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), Mr Duncan Amoah has indicated that some political kingpins are deeply involved in the illegal activities of unregistered oil vessels on Ghanaian territorial waters.

According to him extensive investigations would give rise to some popular names that would shock the country.

Mr Amaoh’s assertion comes after the Ghana Navy in collaboration with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Ghana Ports Authority impounded two unregistered oil vessels on Ghana’s water.

Speaking on Accra based Hot FM, yesterday, the COPEC convener said, these kingpins make about GH¢2 million daily and close to GH¢850 million from the diversion and adulteration of fuel.

In order to unmask the faces behind the illegal activities, the investigative agencies should have the support of the president, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, security agencies as well as the goodwill of the people of Ghana, Mr Amoah indicated.

“So, if you are going into a fight like this, you need a metal cap because they will not go down without a fight. In a year, they are able to get about GH¢850 million and you would be tampering with the resources.

“If you catch only the crew onboard, it is like a sore that has been plastered. Take off the plaster and you’d realise that the wound is deeper than it looks. If they dig deeper they may find very interesting names that have given the approvals for the transfer of those vessels,” Mr Amoah argued.

Broken System

Mr Amoah bemoaned the way, corruption is covered when it came to matters like this adding that it may be difficult to make public the names behind the illicit activities.

“As to whether the system would allow them to dig and prosecute those big names is yet to be seen. We would only want to encourage the NPA and the Ghana Revenue Authority to be stern in their decisions. For the fact that they have caught about 3 out of a 100 doesn’t mean they should stop. They should go on and sustain the efforts to be able to bring to an end fuel smuggling in Ghana,” he noted

The COPEC, according to Mr Amoah had already divulged some information with regards these irregularities to some investigative authorities before the said arrest.

Impounded Oil Vessel

The vessels believed to be Nigerian registered were carrying about 320 metric tonnes of fuel and 20 crew on board.

Addressing a news conference in Tema on Monday, the Chief Staff Officer at the naval headquarters, Commodore Issah Yakubu together with Alhassan Tampuli, CEO of NPA, warned persons who may be planning to engage in illegal oil trade activities to desist.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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