By Irfan Mohammed
JEDDAH — From food to fuel adulteration; some expatriate networks are eating into the core of social system every single day for their unethical personal gains. Fuel adulteration, especially selling the 91 grade petrol as 95 to motorists, has become a thriving business in Jeddah, Riyadh and other cities of the Kingdom.
Authorities are cracking down on gas stations in the Kingdom in general and Jeddah in particular indulging in cheating the customers by selling fuel of 91 as 95 octane.
A small lose pack that contains a red color chemical is being added to 91 octane petrol to turn its color and pass on as 95 petrol.
Octane 91 is sold for 0.75 halala per liter and 95 octane is priced at 0.90 halala per liter. The price of fuel is likely to increase nearly 50 percent later this year and this difference can be felt by motorists.
Lack of awareness among motorists regarding the difference between 91 and 95, commonly known as green and red petrol, and also the grievance mechanism has given an ample scope for adulteration.
Field inspection teams from the Ministry of Commerce and Investment with the collaboration of security forces have been conducting random checks at pumps for the quality of 95 grade petrol and they have shut down several gas stations across the Kingdom, mostly located in Jeddah.
Some South Asian expatriate networks are operating fuel stations in Jeddah and also in Riyadh and other provinces. Some of them already have criminal charges and travel ban against them.
With an aim to prevent any fraudulent practices by gas station operators, the ministry has initiated an electronic system to prevent adulteration and under-measurement fraudulent practices. It also plans to involve general public to lodge their complaints regarding quality and quantity of petrol at a later stage.
Majid Al-Qassabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment formally launched an electronic system for inspecting and calibrating the gas stations on Sunday, according to statement issued by the ministry. It added that new system is part of realization of Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
The new system would be implemented gradually in two phases; first it will applicable to all new stations and existing stations will be covered in the second phase from Sept. 21, 2017. The renewal of license is directly linked to the electronic system.
The ministry highlighted that it ensures high quality service to consumers by adopting modern and best methods.
A majority of cars, almost all economy vehicles, in Kingdom can use Premium 91 petrol without any issue. However, many believe that using 95-octane petrol can boost high performance which is not correct, according to automobile experts. Till 2006, only 95 octane petrol was available in the Kingdom.
Motorists can check with oil giant Saudi Aramco website at mycar.saudiaramco.com/start and also their vehicle manual for appropriate fuel for their vehicle.