Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police, Francis Alieu Munu has vowed to use his powers as head of the police force to crackdown on and prosecute whosoever involves in the smuggling of fuel out of the country.
Munu was yesterday addressing a battery of Journalists at the Kingtom Police Barracks Garage on the recent arrest of three fuel tankers and other 52 Jerry Cans of fuel at the Gbalamuya border post in the Kambia District.
He narrated that they were last week summoned to a meeting at State House where they discussed issues surrounding the smuggling of petroleum products out of the country, adding that contingent on the outcome of the meeting, they decided together with the Anti-Smuggling Unit at the National Revenue Authority, to visit the Gbalamuya border post in the Kambia District.
He said during the course of investigation, they discovered three tankers and Jerry Cans of fuel, hence arrested some suspects and handed them over to the Criminal Investigations Department for further investigations.
Head of the Criminal Investigations Department, Mohamed B. Kamara commended the Inspector General for being proactive in effecting the arrest of the suspects.
He informed Journalists that they have charged to court 16 suspects who were being tried at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 by Magistrate Abou Bhakarr Binneh Kamara for the offences of conspiracy, improper storage of fuel and attempted smuggling.
He added that during the investigations, they uncovered that over 31 fuel stations were operating in the Kambia District but only three of them were legally registered and allowed to operate in the district.
He said they found out that over 10 tankers of fuel were supplied to the district weekly, adding that they have also invited six senior officials from oil companies operating in the country, since they were the ones suppling fuel to the district without proper survey of the storage facilities.
Minister of Internal Affairs, Retired Major Alfred Palo Conteh said when he took up office, he wrote to the Assistant Inspector General of Police North, requesting information on the numbers of fuel stations operating in Kambia, Makeni and their immediate surroundings.