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CPC steps up raids; another fuel station sealed

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) issuing a communiqué said that the underground petrol storage tanks and fuel pumps of the fuel station at Gamsabha Junction in Nugegoda had been sealed on Monday night, based on a raid carried out by the CPC investigation team.

The raid was carried out based on complaints made by consumers that Kerosene was being mixed with the petrol and sold to consumers. The CPC said samples of the fuel had been obtained from the particular petrol shed and sent for laboratory testing. Based on the results of the tests the CPC said further action would be initiated.

Meanwhile, the sudden raids team had also intercepted a fuel bowser transporting furnace oil from Kolonnawa to Colombo Galadari hotel and upon testing the fuel samples, determined that the furnace oil was of low quality.

It is suspected that during transportation, the furnace oil may have been mixed with a low grade oil. CPC sources said suspicion had been raised as the relevant bowser had not travelled on the assigned rout and had shown a long stop at a particular location, where it is suspected that the fuel could have been missed. Further investigations are being carried out by the CPC investigations unit.

Meanwhile, Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunge said the number of sudden raids have been stepped up to prevent the misappropriation of fuel and irregularities. In the event there is any suspicion of contaminated or mixed fuel, Minister Ranatunge appealed to the public to call the nearest Police station or dial 0728870624/ 0777748417 and notify the raids team.

Speaking to the Daily News, the Media Secretary to the Petroleum Minister, Thameera Manju said so far petrol stations in Naula, Nawala and Nugegoda had been raided and sealed for storage and distribution of mixed fuel.

In addition to the bowser that was apprehended last week another bowser from the Udugampola area was also seized and their license suspended for having mixed kerosene with petrol which was being transported from Muthurajawela to Kurunegala.Test results had confirmed that the fuel in two of the compartments had been mixed with Kerosene.