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Profeco announces discovery of gas station fuel altering device

Champotón, Campeche — Federal consumer officials say they have discovered a device on gas pumps that prevents the full delivery of fuel to consumers.

Officials with la Procurador Federal del Consumidor (Profeco) say they made the discovery on a pump in Champotón, Campeche. Upon a detailed review of a pump, they found a board that was loaded with software that prevented the full liters of fuel from being dispatched.

Ricardo Sheffield Padilla of Profeco announced their findings Monday in a presentation where they showed how the software worked, allowing the meter to display one figure while preventing the full liter delivery to consumers.

Sheffield Padilla explained that the program works “Through a box (telecommunicator) dispatched from a card that can be modified to dispatch a specific amount. It is operated remotely from a cell phone,” saying that it’s used to steal one to two liters of fuel for every 20.

“It’s the gas station that determines if you shave a liter, half a liter or two liters for every 20,” he said noting they believe approximately 8 percent of fuel stations around the country use the software. He said that it is possible that the device is being distributed by the manufacturer of the dispatching pumps via the black market.

He explained that using the program is a crime, and that a corresponding criminal complaint has been filed with the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic against whoever is responsible. In the meantime, Sheffield Padilla said that an operation will be deployed to inspect every gas station in the country.

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