A PETROL pump racket in Thane that was busted on Saturday was operating across Maharashtra, police have found. With permission from the Maharashtra Director General of Police, the Thane police have been raiding petrol pumps across the state, with raids in Pune, Nashik and Khopoli. Police have sealed two petrol pumps and seized nine pulsers attached to petrol dispensing machines.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Abhishek Trimukhe said: “Based on information we had, we have coordinated with police stations across the state and raided petrol pumps at Pune, Nashik and Khopoli. We have seized nearly nine pulsers from petrol pumps. It is in addition to the one at Thane that we sealed earlier.”
The Thane police had on Saturday busted a racket where petrol pumps with help of electronic chips dispensed less quantity of fuel than what was displayed on the vending machines. Till Saturday night, the police had arrested the owners of two petrol pumps in Thane. The scam was suspected to be linked to a similar one in Uttar Pradesh that was busted by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) in April.
Based on a tip off that petrol pumps had inserted such chips in vending machines, the police had raided two petrol pumps and seized the chips.
The first such raid took place at a petrol pump in Manpada where for 5 litres, the machine would dispense 4.8 litres. “Over a day, it leads to pilfering of substantial amounts,” said an officer. Following the raid, Vipul Dedhia, the owner, was arrested. The police raided another pump at Wagle estate and an electronic chip was recovered.
In May, the Thane police had arrested two people involved in the petrol pump racket in Uttar Pradesh and handed them over to STF, which had in April busted a similar racket and arrested 23.
An officer said: “The chips used in Thane were much more advanced than those used in UP. It took us over a month before we could verify information and conduct the raids.”