23 June 2015, Abuja – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has warned filling station owners and marketers against falling victims of fake DPR officials.
Its spokesman, Mr. Mohammed Saidu, gave the warning in Abuja, adding that there was a desperate attempt by fraudsters to smear the angency’s image
According to him, some fraudulent persons have cashed in on the fuel scarcity situation to defraud some unsuspecting marketers, thereby causing overpricing of fuel in some areas.
He said: “The outcome of this scarcity has caused us a lot where people now parade themselves and go to filing stations extorting money from marketers in the name of DPR.”
He said the fraudsters were going around filling stations telling marketers that they could sell at any amount they wanted as long as they ‘settle them’ (fake officials).
“That is why we are still having this problem of over pricing in some suburbs of the Federal Capital Territory,” he said.
The spokesperson urged marketers to be wary of fraudsters that claimed to be DPR officials who go to filling stations to extort money
He, however, maintained that DPR officers on assignment always go with official vehicle clearly marked ‘DPR‘.
According to him, all marketers are supposed to know this because “we don’t allow our officials to go to filing stations with their personal vehicles.
“No DPR officer will go out on an official assignment without hanging his or her identity card and once you are not with your identity card, you are not representing DPR,” he said.
He said the fraudster did not even stop at that but also created a parallel website with that of the DPR, claiming that DPR was recruiting for ExxonMobil.
He said they went to the extent of collecting money from unsuspecting Nigerians.
“They created an account where such monies are paid to and we have a lot of unsuspecting Nigerians who came with tellers claiming to come and get their money back.
“There were a lot fake appointment letters from Chevron, Mobil and so on.
“We want to warn Nigerians that before they deal with DPR, make sure you are dealing with right official by identifying himself,” he said.
He said DPR had written to all the multinationals and also issued a counter claim and part of it is to also to sensitise Nigerians on how to deal with those criminals.
“Meanwhile, we are working closely with relevant security agencies to track and bring to book all those behind these nefarious activities,” he added.