Updated: February 22, 2021 11:59:00 pm
Twenty-two people have been arrested in simultaneous raids at four places in the Sangvi area of Pimpri-Chinchwad for pilfering and illegally selling domestic LPG cylinders, police said Monday.
According to the social security cell of Pimpri-Chinchwad police, the accused, who worked for franchise agencies of two public sector petroleum majors, allegedly stole gas from domestic cylinders before they were delivered to customers, refilled it in empty cylinders and sold them illegally.
Following a tip-off, teams of the social security cell, led by Senior Inspector Vitthal Kubde, conducted raids at Moraya Park, Jambhulkar Park, Krushnaraj Colony and Gangurde Nagar in Sangvi, and Pimple Gurav areas in Pimpri-Chinchwad police jurisdiction Saturday.
The 22 people were subsequently booked by the police Sunday under Indian Penal Code sections pertaining to theft and negligent behaviour with respect to combustible material and relevant provisions of the Essential Commodities Act.
Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner Krishna Prakash said, “While the theft from gas cylinders has led to losses to the customers, the method used by these accused was also hazardous to public safety. The role of the owners of these gas agencies is now being probed. We will continue to take action against such illegal activities pertaining to essential commodities.”
Police have also seized 381 gas cylinders along with four delivery vehicles used by the accused.
Senior Inspector Kubde said the accused pilfered up to two kilograms of gas, refilled it in empty cylinders and sold them in the black market. “They used to make sure that the seal of the cylinders remained intact,” he added.
Four separate offences have been registered at the Sangvi police station. In an offence registered after the raid at Krushnaraj Society, police have arrested Dilipkumar Bishnoi (22), Sunilkumar Bishnoi (30), Manish Bhawal (20) and Dinesh Bishnoi. Two persons, Pramod Thakur (40) and Ramratan Chauhan (35), have been arrested in a case following the raid at Gangurde Nagar, while six persons — Hotamsingh Thakur (23), Gaurishankar Thakur (19), Netrapal Thakur (27), Chhatrapal Thakur (31), Dharmendra Singh (28) and Sureshkumar Rao (31) – were held after police action at Jambhulkar Park.
In connection to the raid at Moraya Park, police have arrested Shankarpal Bishnoi (28), Rohit Chaudhary (23), Dinesh Thankur (32), Banwari Jawhar (22), Yogesh Singh (30), Mahesh Kalirana (19), Suraj Singh (20), Ajay Sinh (30), Pappuram Ishwarlal (38) and Sairam Khilleri (25).
After the raids, the accused have been handed over to Sangvi police, Kubde said.
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