Selling susidised diesel on highways

The illicit selling and buying of subsidised diesel on the highway usually involved two parties, the cargo lorry driver and the diesel buyer.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (MDTCC) Enforcement Director-General Mohd Roslan Mahayudin said the cargo lorry driver would siphon one jerry can of diesel from the lorry and sell it either to another cargo lorry driver or diesel buyer who would already be waiting at a certain location.

“From our monitoring, this buying and selling activity can go on for 24 hours as long as there is a driver who wishes to sell and a ready buyer at the rest and service areas (RSAs) spot arranged,” he said in a statement, yesterday.

He noted that the activity by these irresponsible drivers and buyers was carried out “on and off” and would intensify when there was a significant difference in price between subsidised diesel and industrial diesel.

“Industrial diesel price is usually high because it is not subsidised by the government and dependable on world market price,” he said.

Mohd Roslan disclosed there were eight cases of such activity at the Seremban RSA in 2010 involving 5,160 litres worth RM9,288.

As of this year, he said the ministry had intercepted four activities at Sungai Buluh RSA involving 680 litres worth RM1,224.

In this regard, he reminded lorry owners and operators to be mindful of the possibility of subsidised diesel misappropriation by their employees (lorrydrivers) during the latter’s highway trips.

“Even though the volume may involve just 20 to 40 litres per lorry, when combined from the number of lorries plying the highway, it will amount to thousands of litres.

“This actually will increase the transportation operating cost for the companies concerned.

They can lodge a police report because what the lorry drivers are doing is tantamount to stealing,” he stressed.

He said the ministry would continue to cooperate with police and Plus auxillary police to help monitor activities at the RSAs along the North-South highway.

The culprits will be dealt with under the Control of Supplies Act 1961.

He urged factories not to buy these subsidised diesel as they would also be penalised, for illegal possession of subsidised diesel.

The public can report such activities by contacting hotline 1-800-886-800,or or the ministry’s nearest office.

– Bernama