Tue | Sep 1, 2015

Fuel theft the work of organised criminals

Published:Monday | May 20, 2013

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer



The police say there are indications that the theft of over 300,000 litres of fuel in separate incidents over the last six weeks is the work of organised criminals.




Assistant Commissioner, Devon Watkis, who heads the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) Criminal Investigation Branch, says it’s a phenomenon the police are very uncomfortable with.



On April 9 a group of about 25 gunmen made off with over 133,000 litres of gasoline valued at $25 million from the Rockfort plant of Rubis Energy, the company that previously operated under the Shell brand.



It’s reported that the robbery lasted several hours as the gunmen loaded the fuel into five fuel tankers before making their escape.



Nearly three weeks later thieves made off with 200 litres of jet fuel valued at $20 million at the Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay.



ACP Watkis has declined to give details of the investigation so far, but conceded that elements of organised crime are involved, given the volume of fuel stolen.



However, he says the JCF is building capacity to deal with this growing concern in a holistic manner.



He says the police are discouraging members of the public from purchasing the fuel, warning that they could face criminal prosecution.



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