The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),which is probing into the alleged pilferage of high-speed diesel (HSD) worth Rs 10 crore at the Daund railway consumer depot,has found that the arrested chief locomotive inspector had been fudging the diesel reading entries at the time of entry and exit of engines into the depot.
In the last week of April,the Anti-Corruption Bureau of CBI,Pune,arrested chief loco inspector Virsingh Chaudhary for pilfering 20,33,092 litres of the HSD worth Rs 10 crore by falsifying records between April 2011 and July 2012.
About a week later,the agency arrested two more employees of the depot for their alleged connection with the scam. CBI sources said a scam of this magnitude could not have been possible without the involvement of some people higher up in the hierarchy.
A lawyer and his aide were also subsequently arrested for accepting Rs 28.95 lakh as bribe from Chaudhary for allegedly trying to influence members of the judiciary,legal fraternity and the CBI during the course of investigation and trial.
The probe into the scam has further revealed that the readings of HSD at the time of entry and exit of an engine into the depot were altered by the suspects so that they have unaccounted for fuel with them to be sold off.
Explaining the modus operandi,a CBI source said: Every engine enters the depot with some diesel in its tank,and an initial reading is taken by dipping a metal bar into the tank. Now,for example,if an engine entered with 300 litres of diesel,the suspects would note the reading as 500 litre. After the engine is re-fuelled,a reading is taken again. Here too,the suspects would change the figures. If the tank is filled with,say 500 litres of diesel,they would record it as 800 litres. Thus,while the actual quantity of diesel would be 800 litre in the engine tank,the records would show 1,300 litre,which means a fraud of 500 litre on paper.
To keep the final records clean,the probe further revealed,when the fudged figures used to reach 1,200 litre,the volume of a standard diesel tanker,the suspects would physically take out a tanker and sell off the fuel. The CBI is now probing where exactly was the stolen HSD sold and who else were involved in the racket.
Looking at the time span over which the fraud continued and the volume of diesel swindled,it is clear that they had accomplices at all levels. Our probe is under way, said a CBI officer who did not wish to be named.