The State consumer watchdog has warned that fuel suppliers involved in cartels face up to 10 years in jail after it launched an investigation into allegations of collusion over fuel prices at filling station pumps.
Jeremy Godfrey, chairman of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), has urged “whistleblowers” to come forward to help the probe, adding that whistleblowers inside the industry and involved in alleged criminality can seek immunity from charges.
As the Irish Times reports, the CCPC received almost 200 complaints from the public and public representatives about fuel prices over the past two weeks.
The barrage of complaints came in the wake of controversy about alleged price-gouging at forecourts around the country after the Government announced it was cutting excise on fuel duty to counter the soaring costs worsened by the Russian war on Ukraine.
“In general, these complaints allege that filling stations failed to pass on the duty excise reduction in a timely manner or that they have exploited the current economic situation to raise fuel prices and increase profits,” Mr Godfrey told an Oireachtas committee on Wednesday.
“Some of the complaints include allegations of collusion and a few contain information about price movements at particular filling stations.”
Speaking to TDs and senators on the Joint Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mr Godfrey said the CCPC is also dealing with a number of complaints relating to “allegations of filling stations turning off their roadside pricing display”.
“We urge anyone who has specific information about collusion or any other breach of competition and consumer protection law to provide it to us,” he said.
“Whistleblowers who have information about cartels can provide us with that information anonymously at report.whistleb.com/ccpc .”