NGHỆ AN — Two gas stations in Diễn Châu and Quỳnh Lưu districts of the central province of Nghệ An have been found selling diluted, low quality A92 gasoline in large quantities.
A working group – including the provincial economic police in coordination with the provincial science department – on October 10, caught red-handed employees of Thanh Ngũ Co Ltd (Diễn Ngọc Commune, Diễn Châu District) offloading solvent-infused gasoline from its trucks to fuel tanks in gas stations, Vietnam News Agency reported.
The Thanh Ngũ company has two fuel tanks; the first one contained 3,000 litres of RON 92 gasoline, while the second one had about 7,000 litres. Inspectors also found two colouring powder bottles.
Vũ Thị Thanh, owner of the company, admitted that the 7,000 litres of gasoline contained in the second tank was not up to standard, and it had been mixed following the ‘formula’ of 50 per cent RON 92 + 50 per cent solvent, plus some colouring powder.
The driver of the solvent-carrying truck (with a capacity of 40,000 litres) was Ngô Quang Thúc, who worked for Kiên Lục company based in Quỳnh Mỹ Commune, Quỳnh Lưu District.
A follow-up investigation at Kiên Lục Company found another 10,000 litres of substandard RON 92 gasoline and one bottle of colouring powder.
The company confessed it had bought solvents from the southern city of Cần Thơ and then resold it to some to gas stations, while mixing the remaining with RON 92 gasoline to sell to customers.
The company also said it had sold 160,000 litres of solvent to Thanh Ngũ Co Ltd, another 40,000 and 200,000 litres to Kỳ Phương and Sáu Hằng 5 gas stations, respectively – all based in Ngọc Tân village, Diễn Ngọc Commune of Diễn Châu District.
According to the invoice of the Mekong gas company, under the State-owned Cần Thơ Petrolimex, the price for each litre of solvent is VNĐ10,600 (US$0.46), but RON 92 gasoline is nearly double the price, at VNĐ18,000 per litre ($0.79).
The fake gasoline containers, colouring powder bottles, and all related documents have been confiscated. The employees of the two companies have also been suspended, while the gasoline samples are being tested.
A deeper investigation is underway in order to uncover more culprits in this large-scale scam.
A92 gasoline remains the most popular type used in Việt Nam, however, the Government is trying to phase it out starting from 2018 in favour of more environmental-friendly biofuels