The management of Barbar Motors Corporation has threatened to file a criminal lawsuit against the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), claiming the agency illegally took US$5,000 and confiscated 3,447.60 kilogram (49 cylinders) of refrigeration and air-conditioning gases, valued at US$100,000
The EPA in January 2014, announced it had fined the Company US$25,000 for illegally smuggling bad gases into the country, which violates the Environmental law.
But, addressing journalists on Tuesday, March 4, Sam Saryon, acting manager of Barbar Motors admitted his company was fined US$25,000 by EPA, but was forced to pay US$5,000.
“We were compelled to pay US$5,000, after receiving closure threats,” Saryon further alleged. “We did not violate any EPA laws. Instead, we were forced to pay US$5,000, after they threatened to close our business” he alleged.
According to him, the imported gases was verified and cleared by both the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and BIVAC.
“These are government Import Permit Declaration (IPD) and other relevant documents declaring that our products were good to be used in the country. Our partner in Belgium also confirmed it,” he clarified, though he did not name the Belgian partner.
“How can they say we smuggled bad products into the country? We did not do so.”
“We did not violate any environmental laws. Our products were verified and cleared by the MOC and BIVAC,” he repeated, “Where is the instrument used to determine that the products were bad?”
Where do they get the information?” Saryon asked.
All of these are calculated to exploit the company. We will not sit down for the company to lose such huge sums of money.”
“We are warning the EPA to give back our money and the confiscated products immediately, or else we are going to sue them for theft of property,” Barbar Motor acting manager threatened.
Unfortunately, Saryon claimed, “EPA, without any search and seize warrant from a competent court of jurisdiction, forcibly entered the warehouse and confiscated the products.”
However, a source within the EPA, who asked not to be named because he is not the official spokesperson of the agency, said the corporation had indeed brought in the illegal substances and had intentionally mislabeled them.
“When we confiscated the gases, we tested them in our lab and found out they were contaminated. We approached them and told them about our findings. They were fined and willingly paid US$5,000 into government’s coffers,” our source said.
This person, however, stated that he was surprised to hear that Barbar Motor decided to go to Court.