Johor - an illegal diesel export hub?

Johor Baru (The Star/ANN) - Diesel smugglers are siphoning off at least 7.5 million litres of the fuel or 10 per cent of the state's needs each month.

The stolen diesel, worth 13.5 million ringgit (US$4.3 million), is smuggled out to those wanting to sell the fuel overseas, especially to Singapore, turning Johor into an illegal "export hub".

"We estimate that about 10 per cent is being smuggled out via boats in Sg Johor, Penggerang, Batu Pahat and Kukup," said Johor National Security Council secretary Mohamad Yusri Hashim.

Mohamad Yusri, who spoke to reporters at the closing ceremony of a three-day joint operations by various agencies beginning Feb 4 to curb diesel smuggling both on land and sea, said Johor needed an average of 75 million litres of diesel each month.

He added that the diesel smuggling activities adversely affected the state's transportation and small-scale industrial sectors.

Asked whether Singapore was the top destination where the smuggled diesel was channelled, Mohamad Yusri refused to elaborate, but said the vessels detained while receiving the fuel were all Singapore-registered.

"Presently, subsidised diesel is priced at 1.80 ringgit per litre while the market price for diesel is about 2.80 ringgit per litre. This means the smugglers make almost 1 ringgit per litre," he added.

The price of diesel in Singapore is about S$1.50 (3.45 ringgit) per litre.

Mohamad Yusri added that the authorities would continue to step up operations to deter diesel smuggling due to the many complaints that the Government had received.

He stressed that the smugglers used modified trucks to buy diesel from various petrol stations before storing them at collection points.

"Then the diesel is sent to vessels at selected areas before it is shipped overseas. Transactions and oil transfers are also done at sea," he added.

Meanwhile, Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) Southern Region enforcement chief Maritime First Admiral Adon Shalan said almost 125,940 litres of diesel were seized from smugglers between Feb 4 and Feb 7 both at sea and on land.

"The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Department, along with other agencies, detained three lorries and seized 2,200 litres of diesel in three operations.

"The Customs Department detained two ships in Penggerang for illegal transfer of 123,740 litres of diesel," he said.

Admiral Adon added that his agency detained two vessels in Teluk Ramunia for illegal transfer of 50,000 litres of marine fuel oil and 30,000 litres of marine gas oil worth 240,000 ringgit.

"We have also detained 36 crew members from the vessels to assist in investigations," he said.

He added that the APMM along with the other agencies would step up operations against diesel smugglers in the state.

*US$1=3.0 ringgit

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh The Malaysian Insider
    My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh

    A week after the tragic crash that took the lives of veteran lawyer and politician Karpal Singh and his personal aide, Michael Cornelius, his son Ramkarpal recounts the final hours with his father that fateful day. This is his story, as told to V. Anbalagan, assistant news editor. “My parents (Karpal and Gurmit) had gone to Pantai Hospital... …

  • In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle Associated Press
    In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children have instead been hopping among cheap motel rooms along U.S. 192. …