Lack of laboratory that evaluates fuel purity hinders investigation

By ETCO
09/10/2009

Source: Midia Max News - MS - CAPA - 09/10/2009

From Monday until yesterday, a new attack took place in Campo Grande to combat the adulterated fuel trade. Although the inspection reached 27 of the 160 active stations, the operation was again compromised due to the lack of a laboratory that attests to the purity of the fuel sold.


Decon (Specialized Police Station for the Suppression of Crimes Against Consumer Relations) reported that among the posts inspected, four administrative assessments were applied for technical reasons, but not for suspected adulteration in fuel.


Two stations were notified because there were protective seals for the broken volumetric meters, in another the inspectors sealed a supply nozzle for mechanical problems and one station was fined because the fuel price list did not appear on the site.


In addition to Decon, Sefaz (State Finance Secretariat), ANP (National Petroleum Agency) servants acted in the operation. The inspected posts were indicated by Procon.


Decon's chief, Chief Police Officer Adriano Garcia Geraldo, again complained that police attacks against adulteration in fuels have been hampered by the lack of a laboratory that examines the quality of fuels.


He recalled that in April this year, Decon, ANP and Procon inspected at least 40 gas stations in Campo Grande.


Fuel samples had to be taken for analysis in Brasília and the result was ready only four months later.


Of this lot, two station owners were punished with fines (learn more in related news). "If we had a laboratory here, the expertise would be ready in two or three hours", calculates the delegate.


Until three years ago, there was a laboratory here in Campo Grande that worked thanks to an agreement between the federal government and UFMS (Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul). For reasons still unknown, the government vetoed the partnership and now the samples of suspect fuels have to go to Brasília.


At gas stations there is a kit capable of showing if the fuel is adulterated. However, this exam, according to the delegate, is not “100% reliable”, so much so that even if nothing appears in the test, the fuel is sent to Brasília.


If the adulteration is proven, the owner of the post receives a fine of R $ 20, an administrative proceeding handled by Procon and even a criminal action.


However, without laboratory evidence, the police can do nothing against the adulterated fuel trade.