Station owners elude fuel inspections, get hit with obstruction

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The three suspects were identified as Tho Sophat, Huy Sok Heang and Nuot Van Doeun, and operated the Mak Mimiand Chan Thoeun gas stations in Roka Khpos commune’s Prek Khsev village in Roka Khpos commune, Takhmao town. POLICE

Kandal provincial police have sent three suspects who are owners of gas stations to court in connection with offences concerning the destruction or covering up of evidence and obstruction of an investigation after they had been arrested on October 12 after failing to cooperate with police who wanted to inspect their gas stations.

The three suspects were identified as Tho Sophat, Huy Sok Heang and Nuot Van Doeun, and operated the Mak Mimiand Chan Thoeun gas stations in Roka Khpos commune’s Prek Khsev village in Roka Khpos commune, Takhmao town.

Lak Meng Thy, provincial police minor crime bureau chief, told The Post on October 13 that after the arrest on October 12, a case file for the three suspects was compiled in connection with the offences for destruction and covering up of evidence on the evening of October 13.

“We sent them to court after questioning because they did not cooperate with police. When the incident occurred, officials inspected the gas stations and found that the gasoline failed to comply with legal provisions,” he said. “The officials later suspended the operations of the gas stations, but they tore up the police seal.”

Toch Chao Koy, branch manager of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression (CCF) in Kandal Province, said that on October 11, CCF officials in the province inspected the gas stations and found the operators had deceived customers by swapping regular gasoline for super gasoline.

He added that the officials had also found that the two stations had short changed consumers in violation of the laws on consumer protection designed to protect consumers and promote fair competition.

“Because they did not cooperate with us, we asked the prosecutor to impose fines in the first instance,” he said. “But they did not agree and they insulted public officials, so we followed the law and suspended their operations, but they destroyed the seal.”

Chao Koy continued that according to the law on consumer protection, the two gas stations were still subject to a fine of between 10 and 20 million riel ($2,500 to $5,000), even if they were taken to court for breaking the law.