Mon, 31 Oct 1994

Husband, wife arrested for selling diluted fuel

JAKARTA (JP): The City Police Chief, Maj. Gen. Moch. Hindarto, said that the police has arrested a married couple for their alleged involvement in the distribution of fake diesel fuel.

Hindarto said over the weekend that TM, 32, the owner of PT. WCR and his wife Yul, 28, are being detained for questioning since there is indication that their alleged activities were supported by a police officer.

According to Commander of Military Police at the City Police Headquarters Lt. Col. Anwaruddin the suspected police officer is now being interrogated by the military police.

"We are still examining as to what extent the police officer was involved," Anwaruddin said.

Anwaruddin said that TM allegedly provided bribe to a number of reporters who knew of the selling of fake diesel fuel to a number of companies in Tangerang, part of Greater Jakarta.

However, Anwaruddin refused to reveal the reporters' identification.

The crime was detected after the police received a report from the public about the quality of diesel fuel, which was distributed by PT WCR.

Based on the report, the police raided PT WCR in Tangerang after they noticed 10 tank trucks each carrying 8,000 liters of the fuel entering the plant's courtyard. The trucks were believed to come from a fuel depot of state-owned oil company Pertamina at Plumpang, North Jakarta.

Suspicious of PT WCR's activities, police officers interrogated TM and Yul, who later admitted that they drew off 2,000 liters of diesel fuel from each truck and blended the remaining 6,000 with 40 liters of used lubricating oil and 1,960 liters of kerosene.

They also allegedly admitted that the crime had been going on since 1992.

"We made profits of between Rp 8,000 and Rp 40,000 from each truck," Yul said as quoted by Antara news agency.

The police suspected that the couple sold around ten tanks each day to various factories operating in Tangerang.

During the raid, the police confiscated one tank truck with plate number of B 9548 CJ and a roll of fake Pertamina's wire seals, which they used after breaking the original one from every tank truck.

Last year, a joint task force of Pertamina and some powerful watchdog government agencies made on-site inspections to monitor the quality of fuel and lubricating oil sold in local markets.

Reportedly, the Jakarta chapter of the coordinating agency for the support of national stability and security (Bakorstanasda) was one of the agencies involved.

The illegal processing and marketing of used lubricants has seriously affected other legal producers, including Pertamina.

Pertamina's lubricant output dropped from 340,785 tons in 1987 to 261,281 tons in 1988. After a massive raid conducted by the police in 1989, the state-owned oil company recorded a slight increase to 289,630 tons.(mas)