Petrol scam diluted export fuels to local pumps

The illicit sale of gasoline that should have been intended for export, but was allegedly diverted through various Trest retail fueling stations came from Russia or Belarus and was meant to be shipped further, however wound up in the gas tanks of Riga drivers through a convoluted scheme, reported LTV investigative news program De Facto Sunday.

Criminal investigators with the state Customs Service have confiscated about 100 tonnes of the illegal petrol, only three of which were diesel fuel, the rest being regular gasoline.

Unofficial sources at De Facto claim the fueling station owners denied knowledge of how the illegal gas came into their pumps, allowing for the possibility that suppliers simply poured in too much product.

However, De Facto could not solicit comments from any of the involved persons, who instead chose to evade the reporters or be unavailable for contact.

According to State Revenue Service Customs Criminal Board director Edijs Ceipe told De Facto that the scam has certainly caused at least €50,000 in losses from uncollected excise tax revenue if not at least double the amount, since it is unknown for how long it was in operation. No suspects have been named, but Ceipe vowed investigators would soon be identifying the likely responsible parties.

The Trest chain of fueling stations comprises a negligible 4% portion of the national fuel retail market and is not a member of any sector associations.

 

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