Seoul wants more clout vs. fake fuel

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Seoul wants more clout vs. fake fuel

Gas stations that sell gasoline mixed with other chemicals could have their business licenses taken away immediately if the Assembly approves a Ministry of Knowledge Economy proposal to amend the law.

The ministry said it was reacting to an explosion recently at a gas station in Suwon, Gyeonggi. It said after a review, it believes the current law does not have enough teeth to control other gas stations who might try the same tactic.

Sellers of tainted gasoline can expect their business to be closed for three months after a single offense under the current law. A six-month suspension of a business license follows a second offense and three-time offenders’ licenses can be permanently revoked. From January to June, police and the ministry caught 2,092 people adulterating fuel.

The government also plans to revisit about 1,100 gas stations with histories of selling contaminated gasoline. The checks will be done during this month; inspectors will check for hidden underground tanks holding chemicals such as methanol.

The ministry said it faced difficulties in disciplining offenders because they use high-tech equipment to disguise the mixing of the fuels. It said it would not only examine gasoline quality by chemical analysis but also use industrial endoscopes and ground penetration radar to detect secret underground tanks.


By Limb Jae-un [jbiz91@joongang.co.kr]

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