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Kingpin in petroleum pilferage racket held: From water tanker driver to owner of 37 oil tankers

Investigation also revealed that some employees of outsourcing companies hired by the BPCL were allegedly providing additional petroleum products to Kumar for the last three years in exchange for Rs 5 lakh per month.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | Published: December 30, 2016 2:06:18 am
petroleum pilferage racket, petroleum pilferage racket Nishant kumar,Delhi Police’s Crime Branch, BPCL, petroleum pilferage case, oil tankers, indian express news Nishant Kumar’s home in Dwarka. Amit Mehra

Nishant Kumar (31), the alleged kingpin in the oil pilferage racket busted a few months ago, used to make Rs 6 lakh a day from the business. Kumar, who used to drive a water tanker 10 years ago and made a meagre Rs 12,500 a month, now owns 37 trucks. He was arrested by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch a few days ago. His five associates were arrested a few months back for allegedly stealing 2,000 litres of petrol from a supply depot of BPCL in Bijwasan. JCP (Crime Branch), Ravindra Singh Yadav, said Nishant, who was absconding, was arrested a few days ago.

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“A case was registered under sections 380 (theft), 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and 33/4 PDP Act. After his five associates, including an engineer were arrested, Nishant was on the run. He is currently in judicial custody in Tihar Jail,” Yadav said. He added that Kumar is the kingpin of an oil pilferage racket and currently owns 37 oil tankers — 10 in BPCL and 27 in Reliance Bhiwadi.

“We had earlier arrested his associates. During investigation, we came to know that Kumar’s daily income was about Rs 6 lakh,” he said. Kumar lives in a rented accommodation in a locality in Dwarka. His two children study at a private school. Kumar, a Class VIII dropout, is a native of Bulandshahr, who came to Delhi in 2000. Claiming he has been implicated in a false case, his wife said, “After coming to Delhi, he started driving a water tanker. We got married in 2005. He was residing at Raj Nagar in Dwarka, alongwith his family.”

“Investigation revealed that after working for some months at a BPCL depot, Kumar made contacts and with the connivance of workers, he started stealing petrol. The truck driver, who ferried petroleum products from the depot to petrol pumps, used to smuggle out fuel through a hidden chamber in his truck,” said a source.

Investigation also revealed that some employees of outsourcing companies hired by the BPCL were allegedly providing additional petroleum products to Kumar for the last three years in exchange for Rs 5 lakh per month. The employees are currently being probed by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch. “After making the first arrest, a team from the inter-state cell of the Crime Branch recently visited the depot and found 10 supplying motors with new electrical meters, while three of them still had old meters. One of the employees allegedly tampered with three meters, set a password and shared the code with both suppliers. The accused suppliers would take the additional petroleum products and then change the reading of the meter,” said a police source.

Delhi Police found out about the racket after senior oil company officials told Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma that several gangs in Delhi were allegedly involved in theft and sale of petrol, diesel and kerosene.

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