Independent probe could prove major corruption, says JGRA head
Leonard Green, president of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA), has said there is an urgent need for an independent investigation in the bad gas affair.
Addressing the monthly meeting of the Rotary Club of Kingston at The Jamaica Pegasus yesterday, Green said there is also the need for compensation and the reform of the petroleum sector.
He says the recent cases of the damaged cars resulting from the sale of contaminated petrol to unsuspecting members of the public represent a serious blot on the trade. He said blame cannot be laid at the feet of gasolene retailers.
Green is charging that there is far more to recent revelations than the public has been led to believe.
"What we are seeing today is what I consider a major breach of public trust and, if properly investigated, could prove that there is major corruption in the trade," Green said.
He acknowledged that the police had been called in, but said he was not aware if they had the capability to investigate what he called "cases of industrial espionage".
He confirmed a Gleaner report that as far back as October of 2015, there were reports of bad gas in the petroleum trade, which were not made public.
Green said three JGRA-member dealers encountered serious problems with gas supplied by one major marketing company.
"For two weeks, in one instance, they did all kinds of tests. This included changing the pumps and everything. No fuel could be sold until the marketing company came in and evacuated the product [and] sent in fresh gas. Up to this day, the dealer has not been compensated for his losses," Green reported.
The JGRA president said the problem exploded when Fidelity Motors reported having 15 motor vehicles - all with low mileage - brought in for engine repairs.
"Fidelity Motors showed 15 cases of cars that had burnt-out injectors at 4,000km and less. These are components that should last the life of a car," Green said.
He said since the revelation and the subsequent closure of pumps at 17 petrol stations, there has been much, by way of charges and countercharges, between one major marketing company and the Government as represented by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica.
Up to late Tuesday, three of the 17 stations remained closed.