May 31, 2018 News Comments Off on Illegal fuel crippling gas station business in Charity
Illegal fuel streaming into the Pomeroon, may very well seem like an excellent opportunity for consumers. After all cheaper fuel is now at their disposal.
Amidst all the excitement, however, there are a number of businesses that are currently crippling in the process of competing with ‘contraband’ fuel.
Proprietors of local gas stations, both in and around Pomeroon, are bitterly complaining that sales have reduced significantly over the past few months. This decline in sales, they claim, is directly related to the shipments of illegal fuel coming into the Pomeroon, allegedly from Venezuela.
The proprietor of a local gas station said, “It is affecting business because if the people getting cheap gas, they [are] gonna [going to] buy… Definitely, everything slow because we got about 33 percent decrease in sales!”
The Manager of a well-established business entity in Charity is also claiming that sales have been reduced by as much as 30%.
The Manager added, “Every time it drops about 30%, we know it’s illegal fuel because we have heard that people be buying the fuel and that they be selling it all over the place. According to information we received, they selling the (illegal) fuel for half the price of ours.”
Though a floating coast guard base is located at the mouth of the Pomeroon River, it is believed that illegal fuel is still being channeled through the said river. The Manager claims that there is adequate evidence indicating that fuel is still being smuggled.
He noted, however, that many are reluctant to speak out, fearful that they may be victimized.
Since the Pomeroon River conveniently links Guyana to Venezuela, it becomes rampant with illegal activities.
During the course of last year, a number of vessels transporting illegal fuel from neighbouring Venezuela, were nabbed in the Pomeroon by the Guyana Energy Agency [GEA] and the Coast Guard. The most recent case was recorded in January, when a vessel was seized transporting more than 100 barrels of fuel.
Despite efforts by the GEA to curb this illegal practice, one source informed this publication that there are specific periods when illegal fuel will stream into the Pomeroon.
The source added, “It’s seasonal. Sometimes, the fuel isn’t being smuggled, and then sometimes two weeks straight fuel is shuffling in…For the week five to six boatloads came in with at least 100 drums of fuel.”
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