Gapco Fuel Station in Kabuga, Kigali, has been fined Rwf3 million for allegedly operating against the orders of Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) which had closed its business due to substandard fuel reservoirs.
The standards regulator fined Gapco, last week, accusing the company of breaking their seal.
It also accused Gapco of selling to motorists adulterated fuel that is mixed with water, following complaints by the later.
The complaints were later confirmed after an RBS investigation which discovered that the station’s fuel reservoirs were not strong enough and let water sip through them and into the fuel.
Dr. Mark Cyubahiro, the Director General of RBS, confirmed the reports to Business Times.
“Our tests revealed that Gapco indeed sold adulterated fuel to its clients. However, they did not do it deliberately. March is a rainy season and water easily sipped into their fuel reservoirs,” he said.
“We held talks with its management and ordered them to suspend business until they upgrade to the required standards. We then placed RBS seals on their pumps barring them from selling fuel until we approve them. ”
However, he added, no sooner had the seals been placed than they were broken illegally for Gapco to resume operations without implementing the required standards.
“When we discovered this activity, we were left with no option but to stop them again, but this time with a fine. On Thursday [last] week, we ordered them to pay a fine of Rwf3 million to RRA within 14 days, with more fines to come if they fail as stipulated by the law,” Cyubahiro said.
The RBS boss acknowledged that although no other petrol station was known to be involved in such irregularities, RBS sought to intensify fuel sampling and testing campaigns countrywide.
Under an agreement signed with petroleum products dealers, RBS conducts periodic fuel verifications every two months, including calibration of fuel pumps every six months.