Odisha: 2018.03.06 (IT) Police have busted an inter-state diesel theft racket in Bhubaneswar with the arrest of 12 persons including the mastermind Vineet Gupta, a mechanical engineer from Mathura who is the son of an employee from Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) .
The gang, a full-fledged mafia including, technicians, welders, drivers and petrol pump managers, was led by Gupta, stole at least 50,000 litres of diesel from an IOCL pipeline running between Paradip and Sambalpur via Jatani.
The scene of the crime was an isolated location in Kanjara village under Jarapada Police limits in Angul. Gupta, who was well acquainted with the network of oil pipelines and their underground locations, hatched the plot with Karan Sharma, a resident from Delhi.
Along with their associates, the duo dug tunnels, drilled pipelines, drew oil and transferred the fuel to tankers.
Sharma built a network of retailers in the Angul, Sambalpur, Talcher and Cuttack to sell the stolen fuel.
Two tankers, two SUVs, two cars and Rs 4.50 lakh in cash was seized from the possession of the accused, said police.
The accused were booked under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines Act, and Prevention of Damage of Public Property Act.
Further investigation is underway to ascertain the exact amount of oil stolen by the gang which amounted to a huge loss to the National Exchequer.
Angul SP Brijesh Rai said, “The IOCL authorities in Sambalpur became suspicious after there was a drastic fall in the pressure in the oil pipelines and the matter was reported to Angul Police. A probe was initiated and the gang was intercepted.”
(With inputs from Sufian)
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