FORTY-ONE crewmen of two tankers believed to be involved in oil smuggling were arrested by joint elements of Northern District Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Navy, and Northern Police District Special Operation Unit along the coastal area of Navotas City.
Northern District CIDG desk officer SPO4 Wyrlo Gatok said 14 crews of Island Brother 44-II identified as Christofer Aquino, 42, John Carlo Cariño, 22, Jonard Umandan, 29, Ariel Salvador, 37, Luiz Olesco, 54, Patrick Flores, 28, Philip Dalisay, 46, Alfredo Baylon, 37, Roderick Ripotente, 44, Anthony Mendez, 45, Noel Gun-Gon, 59, Luis Niñez, 52, Nestor Zonio, 42, and Allan Mauricio, 41, were arrested and turned over to the custody of Northern Metro Manila District Field Unit (NMMDFU).
NPD-DSOU chief Senior Insp. Jason Quijana said they also seized the two tankers carrying 36,650 liters of smuggled crude oil worth P1,069, 500.
The operation was conducted following a tip received by elements of CIDG regarding rampant oil smuggling in the city.
The crude oil, according to the arrested crewmen, came from Bataan but it was not clear if it was from a refinery in the province or was smuggled through “paihi” or fuel pilferage from bigger seacraft. One of the crew told police that the oil smuggling had been going on for more than two years and they were not aware that it was illegal.
The suspects are sell the crude oil for P30 per liter.
SPO4 Gatok said a follow-up operation is still being conducted for possible arrest of the leader of the syndicate. A case for violation of R.A. 8479 or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998 will be filed against the arrested suspects before the Navotas City Prosecutor’s Office.