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A Profeco agent checks propane gas tanks. A Profeco agent checks propane gas tanks.

Propane gas vendors resist inspections by consumer protection agency

Some have used firearms to warn off Profeco inspectors

The consumer protection agency Profeco is encountering difficulties conducting inspections of vendors of liquid petroleum gas, but is ready to use public force to carry them out, agency chief Ricardo Sheffield said at a convention of LP gas sellers.

“Every week, there are two or three vendors who don’t allow inspections,” he said. although complying is mandatory. “We are going to check absolutely everyone, without warning, simultaneously.”

In some cases, he said, managers of gas facilities have chased off inspectors with firearms.

Sheffield said that his agency previously carried out two inspections a week, but that the number will rise to 25.

“If you don’t allow yourselves to be verified, we will . . . come with force to make sure you’re not selling stolen or adulterated gas,” he said.

Between January and October of this year, 96 vendors have been fined a total of 38.6 million pesos (US $2 million) for refusing inspection.

Inspectors check scales used to weigh propane gas tanks and inspect the thanks themselves, among other checks.

Sheffield added that verification of LP gas sellers is important because there have been as many problems with LP gas as with gasoline.

Seven out of 10 Mexican homes use LP gas.

Source: Reforma (sp), Forbes México (sp)

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