Confiscation of counterfeit LPG cylinders intensified

The long arms of the law is out to inflict sanctions against unscrupulous players in the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector, as law enforcers have confiscated at least P1.0 million worth of illegally traded products in the industry in series of entrapment operations.

In a report sent to the media, LPG industry player Solane noted that in recent buy bust operations undertaken with law enforcement agencies like the Philippine National Police (PNP), they nabbed retail outlets that have been selling massive counterfeit and illegally refilled LPG products.

The LPG firm said that the industry’s drive on stamping out illegal players and traders will be further intensified if the proposed LPG Act will finally be signed into law by President Duterte.

“The recently ratified bill is envisioned to set the best practices for local industry players and curb the unlawful trade of counterfeit products – a persistent problem throughout the country that endangers LPG consumers,” Solane said.

The LPG firm stated that in line with its continuing efforts to promote consumer safety, it already carried out more than 30 entrapment operations in various parts of the country, resulting in the confiscation of about 439 unlawfully traded and illegally-refilled LPG tanks valued at P1.0 million.

The company indicated though that it can further reinforce crackdown activities if there is already a firm regulatory framework that the LPG industry can lean on for the indictment or incarceration of individuals involved in such illegal acts in the sector.

“With the passage of the LPG Bill, Solane is looking forward to plucking out more counterfeit tanks in the market,” the company stressed.

It narrated that from January to March this year, “Solane’s raid operations in various parts of Luzon seized a total of 165 illegally marketed LPG tanks and marked moneys, totaling to almost P400,000 worth of items.”

The company specified that its targeted operations had been mainly in various parts of Luzon – including those in Metro Manila, Batangas, Laguna, La Union and the Bicol region.

Within April to June, Solane expanded its buy-bust pursuits in other provinces – mainly in Tarlac, Bulacan, Iloilo and other parts of Laguna. This led to the seizure of additional 274 counterfeit tanks worth more than half a million pesos.

“Illegal resellers were arrested in said raids, and confiscated tanks were pulled out of the smaller markets to avoid redistribution,” Solane emphasized.

And while the industry awaits a legislated measure that can enforce stricter penalties against LPG industry offenders, Solane is reminding Filipino consumers to be always on guard on the retailers that they will patronize, and they must always “verify that their LPG tanks are genuine, safe and top quality.”