“Almost every” fuel seller in the Maldives is taking advantage of lax certification to cheat their customers by using inaccurate meters, the President of the Fuel Association of the Maldives has claimed.
Mohamed Rasheed accused the trade ministry of failing to certify petrol station meters and allowing the industry to take advantage of consumers for more than 30 years.
The trade ministry retaliated by saying it was impossible for them to check every fuel meter in the Maldives, and blamed the fuel suppliers for failing to inform the trade ministry the meters were uncertified.
Rasheed criticised the trade ministry for being “irresponsible”, claiming that the problem was a big drain on money for both consumers and the Maldivian government.
Chairman of Fisherman Union Ibrahim Umar said the organisations had received many complaint from fishermen that the fuel sellers are “cheating” them by showing them inaccurate measurements from uncertified meters.
Umar claimed that sometimes the fuel sellers “take half a barrel by showing the consumers the wrong meter.”
At a press confernce today, Rasheed called on the trade ministry to approve a law that every fuel station in the Maldives must be certified by the ministry.
Director of the Trade Ministry Solih Hussein said “if the fuel sellers inform us today [they have an uncertified meter] we will put on the seal by tomorrow morning.”
Furthermore, Solih accused the Fuel Association Of Maldives of contradicting its own rules and regulations by exposing its own members to accusations of impropriety by their consumers.
“The Fishermens’ Union can now file a lawsuit against the Fuel Association of Maldives, as they have been selling fuel without certifying their meters, while many of consumers remain unaware of this certification,’ Solih said.
He calls on every consumer in the Maldives not to buy anything measured using a uncertified meter “whether it’s fuel, rice or vegetables.”