59,000 litres seized in 429 raids, 137 arrests for fuel hoarding

  • IGP instructs Intelligence officials to probe public tip-offs via 118/119/1997 

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

A total of 137 suspects have been arrested over the past few days for hoarding large stocks of fuel to be sold at higher prices, according to the Police.

Speaking to The Morning yesterday (25), Police Media Spokesman, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and Attorney-at-Law Nihal Thalduwa said that 137 suspects have been arrested by the Police for hoarding fuel during 429 raids carried out across the country. During those raids, he said, 27,000 litres of petrol, 22,000 litres of diesel, and 10,000 litres of kerosene were also seized by the officials.

He further said that intelligence officials attached to each police division have been given instructions by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana D. Wickramaratne to investigate the tip-offs received from the public regarding those who hoard fuel for resale at higher prices. Calling on the public to not hoard fuel, Thalduwa said that strict legal action would be taken against those who engage in such acts.

He also requested the general public to inform the Police of such hoarders via the hotlines 118, 119 or 1997.

The country is currently seeing a shortage of all kinds of fuel such as petrol, diesel and kerosene, as the economy has been hit hard by the deficit of US dollars required to import fuel. Imports of fuel have been delayed due to this, and people have been seen waiting in long queues near fuel stations. There are also reports of certain individuals hoarding fuel and selling them at exorbitant prices.