February 11, 2021 6:10:06 pm
The Local Crime Branch of Ahmedabad rural police on Thursday arrested a man and recovered over 24,000 litres of crude oil that was stolen by puncturing the Salaya Mathura Pipeline (SMPL) project in Bareja village in Daskroi.
According to police, LCB officials rural arrested Imran Yusuf, a native of Bhavnagar with 43 iron barrels and 70 plastic barrels containing 24,860 litres of crude oil worth Rs 4.97 lakh. They said Imran was the receiver of the stolen crude oil, which he bought from the main accused — Ismail alias Samir, a resident of Danilimda in Ahmedabad.
The theft in SMPL pipeline was first detected on December 7, 2020, when Indian Oil Corporation officials in Ahmedabad rural flagged low pressure in a pipeline stretch of SMPL in Bareja village of Daskroi taluka. On investigation, the officials found a puncture in the pipeline with a valve attached to it and a two-inch wide, 50-metre long pipe inserted from a hole made from the ground.
Initially police arrested seven accused, including the owners of the farmland where the pipeline was punctured.
“After the IOC officials discovered the puncture, an audit was done and it was found that 35,000 litres of crude oil was missing from Salaya Mathura Pipeline (SMPL) project under IOC. A first Information report was lodged and we started a probe in which it was revealed that the puncture was done at the farmland of Dinesh Thakor (64). Six other accused — Pravin Thakor, Prakash Thakor, Manu Chauhan, Kuldeep Vaghela, Bhikha Baria and Mahesh Raval — all residents of Bareja village, were arrested,” said a senior officer with Ahmedabad rural police LCB.
During police remand, the arrested accused revealed that the main conspirator in the case is Ismail alias Samir who has been doing the theft for the past one year.
“We then arrested Ismail who revealed that his gang managed to make 17 rounds of oil tanker trucks from the farmland in Bareja during 2020. Each oil tanker truck has the capacit of 18,000 litres, so the accused managed to steal at least 3 lakh litres of crude oil worth Rs 60 lakh. Ismail also revealed that he recently sold over 24,000 litres to a person in Bhavnagar. It was then that we held the accused Imran Yusuf from Bhavnagar and recovered the stolen crude oil,” the officer added.
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