NBI 7 arrests 9 for fuel pilferage; P5M worth of fuel confiscated

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NINE people were arrested in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue in separate operations after they were found to be allegedly involved in fuel smuggling operations.

Operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI 7) arrested the nine suspects in two separate operations conducted in Barangay Carreta in Cebu City and Barangay Subangdaku in Mandaue City.

During the operation in Barangay Subangdaku on July 11, NBI 7 operatives led by agent-in-charge Arnel Pura arrested Domingo Bartolome, Leorito Pepito, Ramil Valdez, Kim Codinera, Enrique Jalandoni and Eulito Deño Jr. at a compound owned by a certain Reofel Cababan. The NBI 7 operatives confiscated around P3.5 million worth of fuel products.

On Tuesday, July 26, Pura and NBI 7 agents conducted an operation in Carreta and arrested Antonio Cellar Jr., Diether Tagalog and John Sumalinog at the compound owned by a certain Yen-Yen Pasaol. NBI 7 agents confiscated about P1.5 million worth of fuel.

Unfortunately, Cababan and Pasaol, who were identified as the masterminds of the illegal activity, were still at large.

‘Paihi’

Pura said they conducted the two operations after they received a complaint from the Visayas Unified Truckers Association Inc. (Vutai) concerning allegations that some of their drivers were pilfering fuel from their trucks through the illegal practice of “paihi.”

He added that some employees of the member-companies of the association, particularly the drivers, had been in this illegal activity for quite a long time without the owners’ consent.

After receiving the letter complaint, Pura and officials of the Department of Energy in Central Visayas immediately coordinated to conduct the operation.

Pura said the six men who were arrested in the first operation were temporarily discharged after posting bail, while the three from the second operation remain in the custody of the NBI.

The nine suspects have been charged for violating Presidential Decree 1865, which prohibits illegal trading of petroleum and, or petroleum products. (HIC, ANV / JKV)

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