MELAKA: The Department of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs in Melaka foiled an attempt to embezzle 10,000 liters of diesel worth RM21,500 excluding government subsidy during a raid on premises in the industrial estate from Krubong, here, Sunday May 29th.
Its manager, Norena Jaafar, said that during the 7 p.m. raid, two men escaped by climbing a fence behind the premises, which had been turned into an illegal store used to store and transfer hijacked diesel.
She added that they also seized another 18 fuel tanks with a capacity of 1,000 liters each, as well as two motorcycles, two trucks and extension cords. The items seized are worth RM135,000.
“Based on a week of intelligence and surveillance work, we learned that the modus operandi of the syndicate is to go to petrol stations around Melaka and buy diesel worth between 300 and RM500 using credit cards, and the process would be done frequently in a period of one week.
“Our preliminary investigations have revealed that the union would be using a rental truck and modifying the fuel tank of the vehicle for this purpose,” she told reporters at a press conference here on Monday May 30.
She also said that the syndicate would go to any station and fill the tanks with diesel, which would then be transferred to a modified tank before being redirected to an additional tank placed in the truck.
She then said diesel would be sold to industries at between RM4 and 4.30 per litre, compared to the market price of RM2.15 at filling stations.
The case was being investigated under Section 21 of the Control of Supplies Act 1961 which provides for a fine not exceeding RM1 million or imprisonment not exceeding not three years if convicted, and a fine not exceeding RM3 million for the first offense involving an organization.
“We take this matter seriously as it involves government subsidies thus causing huge losses if this activity is allowed to continue unabated,” she said.
Meanwhile, Norena called on gas station operators and workers to work with the government and report to the ministry if they see any suspicious activity, especially the sale of diesel in large quantities frequently involving the same vehicle.
She said the public with inquiries or complaints can contact the Law Enforcement Command Center (ECC) of the Melaka Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Affairs on 06-234 5869 or WhatsApp on 019 -279 4317, every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Bernama