The joint security in Ganta over the weekend seized over 200 gallons of gasoline and two motorcycles from smugglers at the Ganta border barely two days after this paper reported about the massive smuggling of petroleum products.
According to joint security, they arrested about 21 containers of gasoline, with each containing about 10/11 gallons from some suspected smugglers at one of the crossing points around the Gbouyee Community, exactly behind the Child-Friendly School.
The joint security is yet to disclose the name of the smuggler and the punishment attached to the crime, but information reaching this paper suggest that the smuggled petroleum products will be auctioned to the public and the proceed from the auction being placed in the government revenue to serve as deterrents.
Smuggling of petroleum products has been rampant in recent times around the city of Ganta, which is one of the commercially busiest cities in Liberia.
With the proximity of the city to the border, most of the Gas dealers in Ganta preferred smuggling or transshipping their petroleum products to nearby Guinea, where the prices of petroleum products are significantly higher.
And prior to the COVID 19 lockdown and the subsequent closure of the border, it was alleged that most of the petroleum dealers were cland
estinely smuggling petroleum products to Guinea through the main border loaded on trucks and seized up in containers.
The prices of gasoline have never been stable in Ganta and other surrounding commercial cities or towns in Nimba, since the outbreak of COVID – 19 in Liberia and the declaration of “State of Emergency by the president.
Last week the price of a gallon of gasoline jumped from L$560 to L$600, with many blaming the local commerce authority of not doing anything to stop the gas vendors from manipulating the price or profiteering.
However, the exact day of auctioning the confiscated gasoline is yet to be announced, but people still doubt whether the security will be sincere enough to release the gasoline for public auctioning because they believed of gas is in the security’s concern.
“We have been seeing a vast movement of gasoline to Guinea, using Leageyee Border and other crossing points along the Ganta – Sanniquellie highway,” said a motorcyclist who asked not be named.