23K butane canisters seized in Cebu City

AUTHORITIES seized P8 million worth of butane canisters and refilling devices in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City on Tuesday night, Jan. 7, 2020.

The raid resulted in the seizure of 23,000 canisters and refilling machines, said lawyer Russ Mark Gamallo of the Department of Energy (DOE)

Visayas.

Around 12,000 canisters contained liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), while 11,000 canisters were empty.

The DOE prohibits refilling butane canisters with LPG, saying it is dangerous as the container cannot withstand

pressure.

A circular passed by the DOE central office in 2015 states that it is illegal to refill LPG into “single trip and/or tin canisters or cartridges not designed or intended for LPG.” It raised the fines for retail and distribution from P1,000-P3,000 to P50,000-P60,000.

Canisters should be used only once, according to the DOE circular.

Operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 and the Regional Intelligence Division of the Police Regional Office 7 helped the DOE Visayas in carrying out the raid.

P/Maj. Ronald Tolosa, who led the CIDG 7 personnel, said they arrested 10 persons, including Justin Monares, the reported owner of the warehouse.

Before authorities conducted the raid, the DOE Visayas had received a complaint about the illegal activity at the warehouse. Surveillance confirmed the information. (BBT / KAL )