45 drums of diesel fuels confiscated aboard two motor bancas off Anini-y, Antique

March 16, 2012 9:44 am 

ILOILO CITY, Mar. 15- – Some 45 drums of diesel fuel loaded aboard two motor bancas have been confiscated by the Coast Guard and police authorities in the province of Antique the other day for lack of pertinent documents to transport said oil products.

The confiscation of the illegal cargoes aboard the two motor bancas-F/B Mark and F/B Ramon came after it incurred damage while navigating the waters off Anini-y, Antique.

The skippers sought help from the Philippine Coast Guard in Antique for rescue which led to the discovery of the hot cargoes aboard the motor bancas.

When asked to show pertinent documents, the skippers failed to present permit to transport said fuel products, thus the shipment was considered illegal and ordered confiscated.

Skippered by brothers Richard and Elvis Galidadis, the two motor bancas were on their way toward the northernmost town of Carles, Iloilo when they developed damage on their hull.

Meanwhile, the 16 crew members of the two motor bancas including the Galidadis brothers have been placed under temporary custody of the Anini-y Municipal Police Station in Antique province pending an investigation to determine where these petroleum products came from.

In November last year, similar fuel smuggling activity was busted following the apprehension of M/V Cement Carrier 1 anchored off Iloilo Strait between Iloilo and Guimaras island.

The cargo vessel came from Cebu City and carried 31 drums of crude oils estimated to cost some P300,000 when intercepted by the combined forces of Iloilo City Police Office’s Special Operations Group (SOG) and PCG.

The ship captain tried to bribe the apprehending police team but they declined to accept the grease money that earned them commendation from no less than Police Regional Office 6 regional director Chief Supt. Cipriano Querol.

In December last year, the Iloilo Provincial Bantay Dagat Task Force also pounced on a cargo vessel loaded with some 14 drums of smuggled diesel fuel in seas off Batad in northern Iloilo.

The cargo ship was unloading the fuel products to a motorized pumpboat when intercepted by the seaborne Bantay Dagat operatives.

When asked for valid documents, the crew of both vessels failed to present a permit to carry and transport hazardous products, thus the petroleum products were ordered confiscated.

In May, also last year, the Bantay Dagat also intercepted 120 drums of smuggled diesel fuel worth P1 million off Anhawan Island, Concepcion, Iloilo.

The Bantay Dagat Task Force in close coordination with PCG is not only campaigning against illegal fishing activities in the vast fishing grounds of Iloilo, but they are also after sea-going vessels engaged in the illegal transport of oil products which they sold to other vessels in mid seas at low prices that could jeopardize other business sectors engaged in the oil industry. (PNA)

RSV/AJP/VLOrquiola/vlo

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