6 Filipinos Face Charges for Smuggling Diesel

2015-0114 6 Filipinos Face Charges for Smuggling Diesel

Six overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were charged with smuggling diesel to a neighboring Gulf country and face fines ranging from SR20,000 to SR560,000.

The gang of eight, including an Egyptian and Pakistani, are currently behind bars in a prison in Dammam awaiting the verdict. According to a report by Al-Hayat daily, if proven guilty, the men are liable to a period of 10 years of jail time and a fine of one million riyals.

The Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution said that one of the accused, who is a drilling supervisor, paid $150,000 or SR560,000 to another defendant in return for his signature which would allow the boat carrying the smuggled diesel to move out of Saudi territorial waters. The second defendant confessed that he had accepted the said amount in exchange for his signature as an authorized officer.

The report added that all the defendants received bribes from the commander of the boat at various stages of the illegal operation to facilitate the oil shipment.

Meanwhile, the Filipino community in the Kingdom was dismayed to hear of the crime and urged their compatriots to be law-abiding and refrain from damaging their country’s good image.

“As OFWs we should limit our activities to our work and basic lifestyle requirements necessary to live and survive in the Kingdom,” said Saidy Malic, a community leader. He appealed to his fellow countrymen to be loyal to their employers and exercise professional conduct while representing their country.

Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) regional coordinator John Monterona called on the Philippine Embassy to look into the report on the six Filipinos involved in the alleged case of smuggling diesel from Saudi Arabia. “The embassy should immediately dispatch a team to investigate the incident,” he said, adding that it is the duty of the embassy to ensure that the accused Filipinos are given legal protection.

(Source: Arab News)

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