Maputo — The Portuguese fuel company Galp has been caught selling some of its Mozambican customers bottles of domestic cooking gas that are underweight.
Inspectors from Mozambique's National Norms and Quality Institute (INNOQ) visited GALP sales points in Maputo and the neighbouring city of Matola on Wednesday. In Maputo, they visited five sales points but found that at only one of them was any gas available.
Here they checked 32 bottles of gas, each of which should have weighed 11 kilos. 29 of them were underweight, weighing an average of only 10 kilos. INNOQ reacted by banning the sale of the entire consignment of 485 bottles from which those inspected came.
In Matola, the inspectors visited four sales points, three of which had gas available. Out of a sample of ten bottles, six were found to be underweight, weighing between nine and ten kilos.
The inspectors found that a second company, Petrogas, was also short-changing its customers. 13 Petrogas bottles which should have weighed nine kilos were found to weigh an average of 8.87 kilos. Larger bottles are supposed to weigh14 kilos, but the inspectors found 13 that weighed an average of 13.78 kilos.
INNOQ promised that it will continue these inspections in order to protect the rights of consumers.
GALP immediately issued a protest claiming that the INNOQ inspections were "not credible". It said that the process of filling its gas bottles "is undertaken with the greatest of rigour and is subject to adequate control, both internal and external".
GALP added that it has been present in Mozambique for 60 years and "always fought for a posture of seriousness, good quality services, and a contribution to the development of the country".