Graphic Online

Graphic Online 

Navy impounds tankers, canoe for engaging in illegal fuel trade

BY: Benjamin Xornam Glover
The canoe with the large storage compartment from which the fuel was being pumped. INSET: The fuel tankers into which the fuel was being siphoned
The canoe with the large storage compartment from which the fuel was being pumped. INSET: The fuel tankers into which the fuel was being siphoned

The Eastern Naval Command (ENC) of the Ghana Navy has seized a canoe and three fuel tankers involved in siphoning fuel at the canoe basin of the Tema Port.

The Navy also arrested three persons on suspicion of engaging in illegal fuel trade.

The arrest was made about 1 a.m. Friday, following intelligence that was picked by the Navy that some canoe operators and fuel tanker drivers were supposedly siphoning fuel into the tankers.

Briefing

Speaking to journalists in Tema, the Command Operations Officer of the ENC, Commander Isaac Mahama Abu, said about 11p.m. last Thursday, the Navy on their usual patrols around the canoe basin at the Port, saw a canoe with a large storage compartment pumping fuel into a fuel tanker.


He said a team of Navy personnel was despatched to the scene and on arrival they discovered that the canoe had connected long hoses to the tanker and was pumping fuel into one of them, with the two other tankers standing by.

"We felt that it was wrong for such an activity to be taking place around that time, without any arrangement for a fire engine or any other precautionary safety measures in place," he said.

"The timing of such an activity was wrong so we arrested the drivers for further investigation and to determine if it was the right thing to be done."

Installations

Commander Abu pointed out that it was more worrying for such an activity to be taking place near national installations such as the Karpowership and that the action of the Navy was a pre-emptive measure to avert any possible mishap from happening.

He said the Navy was collaborating with the National Petroleum Authority and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to conduct further investigations into the act.

Meanwhile, the three fuel tankers, each with a capacity of up to 8,900 gallons (33,690 litres) and with registration numbers GT 2612-17, GN 2835-13 and GN 2635-13, their respective drivers, as well as the canoe, have been impounded by the Navy.

The crew members aboard the canoe, however, managed to escape.