The Guyana Energy Agency remains relentless in its efforts to curb fuel smuggling. Standing firm on its intolerance for such illegal trade, the GEA, represented by special prosecutor Gino Persaud, secured another conviction against Kimone Gonsalves of Grant Trial, Pomeroon River. The defendant was found guilty of being in possession of fifty (50) gallons of illegal petroleum contrary to the Guyana Energy Act.
On July 31, 2010, GEA inspectors sampled and tested the illegal fuel stored at the defendant’s premises, subsequently leading to the ruling handed down by Magistrate Leron Daley at the Charity Magistrates’ Court on June 4, 2012. The defendant was sentenced to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or one year imprisonment.
This conviction is indicative of the persistence of GEA inspectors in the discovery of illegal petroleum as well as the continued work to bring offenders to justice. To date, the Fuel Marking Programme has convicted sixteen (16) persons for a total of nineteen (19) offences, three (3) of which were guilty pleas. The success in the growing number of convictions is encouraging and reiterates the need for public knowledge of the consequences of engaging in the purchase, storage, sale, and/or transport of illegal petroleum and petroleum products.
GEA wishes to remind persons that when smugglers engage in illegal trade, they evade taxes and rob their fellow citizens since they divert the revenue that was intended for the development of the country to their own selfish needs. GEA remains rigid in its stance against fuel smuggling and continues to intensify its enforcement operations in this regard. The GEA encourages all persons who may have information relating to fuel smuggling and possession of illegal fuel to contact the Agency at 226-0394 or 624-5905.
Don’t be a victim of illegal trade. Remember, Smuggling affects everyone!