10 nabbed in raid on butane refilling plant

By: Intern February 24,2017 - 10:32 PM

Ten persons, including two 17-year-old minors, were arrested in a raid on a butane refilling plant in Talisay City, Cebu.

The raid was conducted by a joint team from the Central Visayas regional offices of the Criminal Investigation Detection Group (CIDG-7), Department of Energy (DOE-7) and the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office at 12:45 a.m. on Friday.

The arrested persons work for butane factory located on Uldog Street, Baranggay San Roque. They were working inside the factory when the arrest took place.

Jane dela Cerna Reales, the factory owner, however, was not around and eluded arrest as authorities swooped down on the plant.

As of yesterday afternoon, Reales has not shown up yet but sent her legal representative to the CIDG-7 office to explain her side.

DOE-7 Director Antonio Labios told Cebu Daily News that the butane refilling factory lacks permit to distribute and sell refilled butane canisters.
“It’s not safe to use butane; it’s very hazardous. If you can recall the usual cause of fire is butane,” said Labios.

Labios earlier told the public not to sacrifice safety over convenience and the low cost of illegally refilled butane canisters. He also explained that butane canisters are meant to only be used once and refilling them with LPG would be dangerous because it is more pressurized, meaning more likely to blow up.

DOE Circular No. 2014-01-0001 provides the rules and regulations for the LPG industry.

The department circular, Labios said, also prohibits refilling butane canisters with LPG.

According to PO3 Artchel Tero of CIDG-7, some of the detained workers admitted that they were not aware that the factory lacks permit.

“Some of them are newly hired workers. Based on their statements we can use them as witnesses of this case,” said Tero.

The factory sits on a 450-square meter lot, with fences and security guards.

Recovered in the area were fuel tank caps, four LPG-refilling machines, 8,448 LPG–filled canisters, 3,080 empty canisters, two LPG-refilling pipes, 20 empty LPG tanks and the .38 revolver with two live bullets of security guard Ivan Jacaban.

According to CIDG-7, they will file a case against Reales on Monday since yesterday was a holiday. /USJ-R Interns Vanisa Soriano and Thea Verona Oliverio

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TAGS: Butane, canisters, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu province, CIDG, Criminal Investigation Detection Group, Department of Energy, DOE, Labios, LPG, nabbed, plant, refilling

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