Illegal mining operations in the Manso Nkwanta enclave in the Ashanti Region have been established to have fueled the purchase of diverted fuel smuggled by Fuel Tankers.
This was disclosed by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in the Ashanti Region during a media engagement in Kumasi today.
The Regional Director of the NPA, Betty Nana Adwoa Ofori, mentioned some mining areas in the Ashanti Region as beneficiaries of diverted smuggled fuel.
Manso Nkwanta is in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
“Because these miners are illegal with their operations, they cannot request for bulk purchases. The mining communities, especially the Manso Nkwanta areas, are where these diverted fuels are taken. “
“The Ashanti Regional Police command has helped us in arresting 13 tanker drivers so far. They need commendations for their efforts”, she revealed
Head of Legal at the NPA, Farida Ali Musah, revealed diversion of fuel from its intended location is an offense as there are tracking and monitoring systems in place that are mandated by regulation.
She has therefore called for media support to fight illegal operators in the downstream petroleum sector.
“We need the media support to sell our message out that NPA is going to prosecute persons arrested. If you are there doing an illegal thing, we will come for you. The NPA will come after them, nobody should do anything in the downstream industries without a license, “she warned
“Anybody wanting to operate in the downstream sectors, you need authorisation. You can’t just get up and buy a tanker and begin business”, she urged.