After receiving a ticket for violating the Economy Ministry’s official pricing of fuel, a gas station owner attacked and threatened inspectors from the Consumer Protection Directorate.
The two inspectors were touring the southern village of Tebnine when they came across the violator, who had been selling diesel oil for 28,000 LBP per 20 liters when the official price was 16,000 LBP on Wednesday.
After they filed a report citing his violation, the man, identified as K.H., proceeded to severely beat and threaten the inspectors before inflicting heavy damage to their car.
In response to the outrageous incident, Economy Minister Raoul Nehme tweeted, “Any offense to inspectors is an attack on the rights of all citizens in their economic and social security in these difficult circumstances.”
The minister then stressed that such attacks “cannot be tolerated in any way.” He requested that security forces intervene immediately to deal with the perpetrator, and asked the competent judiciary to swiftly take the necessary measures.
A few hours later, Nehme took to Twitter again to thank security forces for arresting the gas station owner.
“On our part, we will follow the file with the concerned persons to hold the aggressor accountable and to ensure that such attacks do not recur,” he added.
In light of the enormous increase in prices amid the unprecedented economic crisis, the Consumer Protection Directorate has been performing surprise inspections in supermarkets, gas stations, and bakeries to catch offenders off-guard.
The Directorate’s focus has particularly been directed at subsidized commodities such as fuel and bread.
While these do not currently exceed a few dozen items, the Economy Ministry, in collaboration with the central bank, will soon release its new list of 300 subsidized food and non-food items, known as the food basket.