An estimated P2.8 million worth of butane canisters, liquefied petroleum gas tanks and other illegal gas refilling paraphernalia were seized by authorities in two simultaneous raids conducted at the house of a former mayor in Lila and a warehouse in Tagbilaran City.
Police operatives who were accompanied by personnel of the Department of Energy (DOE) 7 arrested former Lila mayor Alfonso Diao Lim, 56, at his residence at 3 p.m. on Tuesday while other law enforcement agents searched his warehouse in Graham Ave. in Barangay Cogon.
According to Sr. Insp. Fritz Blanco, chief of the Bohol Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the raids were conducted for operations involving the sale of LPG contained in butane canisters, a violation against Presidential Decree 1865 in relation to Department Circular No. 2014-01-001.
The raiding teams comprised of personnel from the CIDG, DOE and Tagbilaran and Lila police stations seized 18,816 canisters, 4424 of which were filled, 80 50-kilo filled LPG tanks, 111 empty 50-kilo tanks, said Blanco.
Operatives also took into their custody a ten-wheeler truck registered to one Robert Velasco and butane refilling paraphernalia such as an air compressor, decanting device, refilling machine, three digital weighing scales and pipe connector.
The operation was carried out through search warrants issued by Judge Jennifer Chavez-Marcos of the Regional Trial Court Branch 2 and Judge Jorge Cabalit of Regional Trial Court Branch 1 for the Lila and Tagbilaran raids, respectively.
According to the DOE, the use of refilled butane canisters are dangerous and can cause fire as these are prone to combustion.
The Bureau of Fire Protection in Tagbilaran City had also earlier called for the public to avoid using LPG-filled butane canisters. (R. Tutas)