Gang held for steal­ing 50mn litres of crude oil in In­dia

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

New Delhi, In­dia - Po­lice in Ra­jasthan have cracked a crim­i­nal syn­di­cate ac­cused of smug­gling more than 50mn litres of crude oil in­side wa­ter tankers from In­dia’s largest on­shore oil­field, an of­fi­cial said on Sun­day.

The theft at the Cairn In­dia oil­field went un­de­tected for nearly six years un­til po­lice in the west­ern desert state ar­rested 25 peo­ple this week for in­volve­ment in the so­phis­ti­cated smug­gling net­work.

Lo­cal me­dia re­ported US$7.75mn worth of oil could have been stolen in to­tal from the oil­field run by a sub­sidiary of Bri­tish mining giant Vedanta Re­sources.

More than 75 peo­ple, many driv­ers and con­trac­tors work­ing at the oil­field, are still wanted in con­nec­tion with the heists, said district po­lice chief Gan­gan­deep Singla. “The com­pany sus­pected some­thing fishy was hap­pen­ing and com­plained to us, and dur­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions we found this was an or­gan­ised ring,” he said.

He said the driv­ers were au­tho­rised to carry wa­ter - a byprod­uct in oil ex­plo­ration - from ex­plo­ration sites for dump­ing but some of the tankers were filled with crude in­stead.

The driv­ers were dis­abling their GPS de­vices to avoid track­ing and de­tec­tion. More than 30 trucks have been seized, with num­bers likely to grow.

The oil was sold to two small fac­tory own­ers nearby, who stock­piled the crude in un­der­ground tanks be­fore sell­ing it on to clients across In­dia.

The stolen oil was used in road con­struc­tion and diesel pro­duc­tion, po­lice said.

In Fe­bru­ary, po­lice in Ut­tar Pradesh ar­rested nearly a dozen peo­ple ac­cused of steal­ing US$15.5mn worth of petroleum from a high pres­sure re­fin­ery pipe­line in the north­ern state.

The gang had pur­chased land ad­ja­cent to the re­fin­ery and dug a tun­nel to tap the pipe­line owned by state-run Hin­dus­tan Petroleum. In­dia im­ports nearly 82 per­cent of its crude oil to meet its en­ergy re­quire­ments.

More than 75 peo­ple, many driv­ers and con­trac­tors work­ing at the oil­field, are still wanted in this con­nec­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman

© PressReader. All rights reserved.