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50 arrested for selling fake diesel of 5 million liters

Posted April. 13, 2022 08:09,   

Updated April. 13, 2022 08:09


Some 50 people were arrested for making and selling low-quality car diesel by mixing diesel for vessel use of up to 5 million liters. They had made 1.5 billion won in profit for illegally selling the diesel for the last two years.

The Violent Crime Investigation Unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that the group was arrested for selling diesel by mixing diesel used for ships with regular diesel by 1:2 ratio and selling them to 21 gas stations across Korea since early 2020. The Petroleum Business Act states that low-quality petroleum made by mixing petroleum of different levels are fake petroleum products.

According to the police, the group illegally purchased 1.5 million liters of diesel for ship use, which carry higher proportions of sulfur, at sea near Yeosu of South Jeolla Province at 400 won per liter. They mixed the diesel with regular diesel for cars, creating some 5 million liters of illegal diesel. The group added extra color to the mixture to disguise adding of marine fuel at a oil tank near Gurye in South Jeolla Province.

The diesel was sold at 21 gas stations in Gyeonggi, Daegu, North Chungcheong province, South Chungcheong province, North Gyeongsang and North Jeolla province at 1,400 won per liter. The police also arrested gas station operators who had been aware of the illegal diesel. The suspects hid their identities during the trade, distributing the fuel in early hours.

The police scrapped 130,000 liters of the low-quality fuel, which was confiscated, but most of the 5 million liters had already been distributed, suggesting damage to car owners that have purchased the fuel. Ship cargo diesel contain sulfur (500 ppm) up to 50 times higher than general car diesel (10ppm or less), causing greater emissions of fine dust. Continued use of low quality diesel causes sulfur to accumulate on the vehicle exhaustion valve, impacting output.