Vietnam motorists being cheated at the pump

Hanoi – Motorists in southern Vietnam are being shortchanged at the pump as more and more petrol stations are cheating customers, state news reported Saturday. Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology estimated that customers are being cheated out of 32 million dollars a year, the report said.

Much of the fuel losses occur because the petrol is adulterated or substandard, Vo Viet Ha, a city inspector told a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday.

Police recently cited 11 petrol stations accused of selling adulterated fuel but they say it is difficult to track down distributors because stations get their supplies from multiple sources, the Thanh Nien newspaper reported.

Customers are also being cheated on the amount of fuel they put in their tanks. Increasingly sophisticated gadgets make tampering with meters relatively easy. The devices can be quickly removed when inspectors show up.

In most cases, police only slap fines on those caught adulterating fuel or tampering with meters, which experts at the conference said was not enough to deter violators.

Despite the fact that global fuel prices have fallen by more than half, from a high of 147 dollars per barrel in July, the price per litre in Vietnam has only decreased by 7 per cent.

Prices at the pump are still 20 percent higher than they were earlier this year. Importers say they have to keep prices high because they took huge losses when global fuel prices skyrocketed.,vietnam-motorists-being-cheated-at-the-pump.html

Aso calls on Vietnam to back U.N. resolution on N. Korea

LIMA, Nov. 21 (AP) – (Kyodo)—Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso asked Vietnam on Friday to vote in favor of a U.N. resolution calling on North Korea to improve its human rights situation, a Japanese official said.

During a bilateral meeting in Lima, Aso told Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet that Japan wants to have sufficient support for the resolution to be adopted because North Korea’s decades-old abductions of Japanese nationals is a serious issue.

“I would like to have cooperation from Vietnam,” the senior foreign ministry official quoted Aso as saying during the 45-minute meeting, held ahead of the weekend summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in the Peruvian capital.

The Vietnamese president responded, “I am very aware of the issue and will seriously consider” the request, according to the official.

A draft resolution demanding that North Korea end suspected human rights abuses has been submitted to the U.N. General Assembly every year since 2005. For the past three years, Vietnam has voted against adopting the resolution.

This year’s resolution is expected to be adopted next month.