Last night, two Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) employees were arrested after it was found that they had stolen some two liters of fuel marker while they were on a fuel marking exercise at the Rubis Bulk Terminal East Bank Demerara (EBD).
Steve Rafeek and Julian Assanah are in police custody assisting with investigations after it was reported that they were suspected to have stolen two liters of fuel marker that was supposed to be used to mark bulk fuel at the Rubis fuel depot EBD.
Kaieteur News has been reliably informed that Rafeek who is the head of the Guyana Marking Service, a unit within the GEA, was tasked with marking fuel at the depot. Suspicions were raised among the staff after Rafeek allegedly asked his staff to do things that were not within the protocol of the GEA operations.
The staff was asked to leave and buy food, something that is not normally done. They all recognise that the fuel marker is a very valuable substance and is supposed to be dealt with in a high security manner. That would require the presence of every staff member on the exercise.
After individuals at the terminal became suspicious of Rafeek’s actions, a report was made to senior officials at the GEA, who immediately informed the agencies chief internal investigator, a Mr Persaud .
The latter accompanied by his assistant, a Mr Frazer, went to the fuel terminal and initiated an investigation based on the information they had received. After some time, the two investigators were unable to find any of the stolen fuel marker that they were there to recover.
This again raised suspicions, since the initial indicators suggested that the fuel marker was already stolen.
After attempts to recover the fuel marker by the GEA internal investigators proved futile, the police were called in and two liters of fuel marker was uncovered in the presence of the internal investigators and the individuals who were accused of the theft.
The men were then taken into custody at the Providence Police Station where they are assisting with investigations.
This case and two other recent incidents have reinforced how this lucrative business of fuel smuggling and the need for fuel marker is continuing.
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), disclosed that on September 22, 2018, its Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) officers intercepted the motor vessel, Plumrose,
which is reportedly linked to a prominent fuel dealer on the West Coast Demerara.
GRA said that the vessel was found with in excess of 80,000 litres of fuel. After it was tested, the officials confirmed that the fuel was diesel fuel.
Even though the intended use of the vessel was listed for “fishing purposes”, the “Plumrose” had been converted for fuel transport.
Sources disclosed that the vessel was stopped at the Essequibo River mouth. The captain when asked whether he has anything to declare, disclosed that there was 5,000 liters of fuel on board. He allegedly later changed his tune and said 20,000 litres.
However, the actual amount in the converted fuel tanks was found to be over 80,000 liters.
The sources said that the vessel allegedly had no documents.
Two inspectors from the Guyana Energy Agency were said to be involved in the checks. “Representatives of the Guyana Energy Agency were contacted by GRA and the two agencies had worked in collaboration on the investigation.”
There was also an incident where 56 drums of seized fuel went missing from a GEA bond on the Essequibo Coast. GEA was said to have been investigating the incident.
The base has two staffers and security, with a boat captain and driver who are also said to have access to the location.
The missing fuel was reportedly said to be from seizures made on the Essequibo Coast and in the Pomeroon River, Region Two.
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