A security guard, finding the soil wet, detects the hole

A nine-member gang was arrested on the charge of stealing diesel from the Visakhapatnam – Secunderabad pipeline of HPCL near Anakapalle. The accused drilled a very small hole into the pipeline and drew small quantities of diesel from the pipeline on three different occasions during the last four months.

V. Siva Prasad of Kasimkota was caught by some local people when he tried to drill a hole in the pipeline about four months ago. He did not give up his dream of making a fast buck by stealing diesel from the pipeline. He motivated some influential persons for evacuation of the diesel from the pipeline but failed in his attempt as the pipeline was very thick.

He made another attempt but two persons were injured as the diesel, which is sent under high pressure came out as a jet and affected one person in both eyes and the thumbnail of the other came off and they fled the scene. They made another attempt and succeeded in making a pen nib point-sized hole and filled 10 drums with the diesel and sold it in the local market.

In yet another attempt, they hired a tanker and asked the driver to wait near Kasimkota. They phoned the driver and sent him away after they failed to make a bigger hole. They, however, managed to get 900 litres of diesel and sold it locally. A security guard, who walked along the pipeline found the soil wet at one place and on digging a bit found that someone had drilled a hole and informed the matter to the higher officials, who in turn informed the police on December 26.

A special team led by Anakapalle Rural Inspector G. Srinivasa Rao, formed by Superintendent of Police Vikram Jeet Duggal on January 7 for the speedy detection of the case, obtained clues from the spot, information from villagers and arrested the accused at different villages on Monday.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that four more members of the gang were absconding and hoped that more information could be obtained once they were arrested.

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