Black market in diesel flourishes

ABU DHABI - While drivers of trucks, pick-ups and trailers in Abu Dhabi are having a hard time waiting at a petrol station in Mussafah Industrial Area for more than 10-15 hours to fill diesel, some unscrupulous drivers and others are indulging in black marketing of the fuel in other emirates after buying it at low prices from Abu Dhabi.

By Ahmed Abdul Aziz And Adel Arafah

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Published: Sat 2 Aug 2008, 1:57 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:59 PM

Drivers told Khaleej Times on Wednesday that their suffering began after the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) decided to not to allow the trucks and heavy vehicles to fill diesel from five petrol stations in Shahama, Bani Yas and Abu Dhabi city. They can fill diesel only at one station located at the first entrance of Mussafah Industrial Area.

Everyday, at least 300 vehicles wait for several hours to get the diesel. Satinder Singh, an Indian driver, said, 'It is strange to restrict us to one station. The curbs came two weeks back.'

The queue of trucks is sometimes as long as 2km. Satinder said, 'I came at 5am to avoid the rush.'

Hardeep Singh, another Indian driver, said that he comes thrice a week and he has to wait for more than 12 hours.

Ali Ali, a Pakistani driver, complained, 'I have a small truck. I came here around 1am and could fill diesel only around 12pm on Wednesday.'

ADNOC recently announced its decision to set up mobile diesel stations on the highways outside the Abu Dhabi city to avoid traffic jams caused by the the heavy vehicles. However, it did not reveal the number of mobile stations.

The low prices of diesel in Abu Dhabi have prompted some transport companies and drivers to fill the tanks of their vehicles in the emirate and sell the diesel in Dubai at prices lower than that at the petrol stations there.

Khaleej Times has learnt that the Abu Dhabi Police and the investigation office in the Ministry of Interior are monitoring the petrol stations to curb black marketing in diesel.

Meanwhile, Major Ahmed Al Shehi, Director of the Traffic Department in Abu Dhabi, said the trucks and other heavy vehicles were restricted to filling diesel from only one station after the Ministry of Interior instructed not to allow heavy vehicles on the roads inside the cities from 6am to 8am and 1pm to 3pm.

Major Al Shehi said the Traffic Department is coordinating with ADNOC to set up mobile diesel stations.

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