HEIDELBERG, Germany -- The Army and Air Force Exchange Service fuel card makes it easy for U.S. forces personnel to fill their vehicles with tax-free fuel in Germany.

U.S. Army Europe Office of the Provost Marshal officials say the system's automated features also make it simple for customs investigators to track suspicious transactions.

"Since the use of the fuel card began, customs investigators have identified several fuel card violators," said Fred Evans, chief of Customs Services and Investigations at the USAREUR OPM.

Using the fuel card database, investigators receive reports on several types of violations, and can see who is pumping fuel, when and where.

Officials described one recent case involving an American who for years was selling gasoline purchased with the fuel card to friends who were not authorized to buy tax-free fuel. German customs officials fined the man 22,000 euros (more than $28,000) and ordered him to pay 37,000 euros (more than $47,000) in unpaid taxes.

"In an effort to protect duty and tax-free gas privileges, U.S. Forces Customs is strictly enforcing compliance," Evans said. "We will identify each and every violator and take the necessary action to prevent abuse."

Page last updated Tue July 16th, 2013 at 00:00