By Nancy Carvajal
At least 300,000 liters of fuel is smuggled weekly from a shipyard in Mariveles, Bataan to garages of various bus companies in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, persons involved in transporting the product told the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
NBI Special Unit Action agent Melvin Escurel said individuals they have talked to claimed to be clueless about the smuggling of fuel.
“A witness said they just received instructions from ‘Jerome’ and ‘Eric’ to proceed to the Seafront Shipyard and wait for the barge that would fill up their tanker,’’ Escurel said.
Using a long hose, diesel is loaded into the tankers inside the shipyard from a barge anchored about 500 meters away from the dock.
The tankers are filled with fuel at least three times a week. They travel to the shipyard from a garage in Pasay City.
Escurel said four to five tankers deliver the fuel to the garages of various bus lines. One tanker, meanwhile, heads to Fairview, Quezon City to fill up a supposedly abandoned tanker.
Based on witnesses’ testimonies, Escurel said the fuel smuggling scheme involving the Bataan shipyard appears to be well organized.