BY ROHIT ALOK
The three men held last month for allegedly siphoning off base oil from a Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) pipeline are estimated to have sold base oil worth Rs 1 crore since June.
The Wadala police, in a routine combing operation, arrested Ijaz Khan, Nizam Sarakat and Mohammed Sheikh from a rented house in Reay Road on September 24. The trio was allegedly siphoning off base oil from the BPCL pipeline supplying oil to the Wadilube plant in Wadi Bunder and selling it in the black market. The police found six kilolitres of base oil from a cement tank in their house, which was recovered by BPCL officials later, who also inspected the siphoning mechanism set up by the trio.
“They had rigged their set up in a way that oil would be siphoned off to their cement tank every time it was released through the pipeline. The value of the commodity is Rs 55,000 per kilolitre and is discharged at an average of about 10 times from the BPCL’s main refinery to a our Wadilube plant through a 12-km pipeline,” a BPCL official told Newsline.
The police said the three accused confessed to have started their racket in June. “The base oil was filled into barrels and transported by tempo, instead of a tanker which would have attracted attention, to sell it in the black market,” the police said.