Saturday March 16, 2013
Ministry foils ploy by diesel thieves
BINTULU: Diesel thieves here are suspected of using two similar lorries to try and hoodwink the authorities but the ploy apparently did not work.
After several days of investigation, a 15-tonne lorry was seized at a workshop in Jalan Sungai Ngigu here by officers from the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry on Thursday.
In the lorry, they found 10,000 litres of subsidised diesel — valued at RM18,000 — stored in specially constructed tanks. A statement was taken from the 39-year-old driver, who is a local, before he was released.
The bust was conducted by nine officers from the state headquar- ters in Kuching, the ministry’s headquarters in Putrajaya and the office here.
The ministry’s state director Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman said what tipped them off was the suspicious activity of the lorry, which could fill up twice in a day at the depot here supposedly to supply a station in Belaga town.
“It takes a lorry from seven to 10 hours to travel between Bintulu and Belaga town,” he said.
Ahmad Uzir said his officers from the ministry’s Kapit branch had spotted what looked like an exact copy of the lorry which was seized, right down to its registration number, in Belaga town.
“It seems the culprits could be trying to trick us into thinking that the lorry was actually delivering diesel to the station in Belaga.
“But we believe that after they had filled up at the depot in Bintulu, they would go and sell it to the industries nearby and at a lower price too.”
The case is being investigated under Section 20(1), Supply Control Act 1961 which carries a fine of RM100,000 or three years jail.