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‘Oil pilferage, adulteration' racket unearthed

V.S. Palaniappan
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Breakthrough: Superintendent of Police N. Kannan inspecting a unit suspected to be involved in a furnace oil adulteration racket in the city on Wednesday. — Photo: K. Ananthan
Breakthrough: Superintendent of Police N. Kannan inspecting a unit suspected to be involved in a furnace oil adulteration racket in the city on Wednesday. — Photo: K. Ananthan

The Coimbatore Rural Police, on Wednesday, ‘unearthed' a major racket wherein furnace oil was pilfered from the trucks and spent oil (no quality – waste engine oil) was mixed with the rest of the consignment.

Superintendent of Police, Coimbatore Rural District, N. Kannan said following a tip-off, special teams raided a private firm dealing in oils on Pollachi Road and seized four trucks and 26,000 litres of furnace oil. The vehicles were worth Rs. 20 lakh and oil was valued at Rs 15 lakh.

Mr. Kannan said usually when furnace oil was transported from the public sector oil companies' depots in Kochi, the consignors permitted a ‘transportation loss' of 100 litres per vehicle. If there was no loss enroute, the racketeers, with the connivance or collusion of the tanker drivers, siphoned off the 100 litres at secluded godowns. At these illegal depots, the racketeers also pilfered another 75 to 150 litres and replaced it with spent oil. This was a clear case of pilferage as well as adulteration, Mr Kannan added.

These racketeers made around Rs. 6,000 from the siphoned off oil which was to the extent of 200 to 300 litres.

At the end of the day, the quantity of pilfered oil alone worked out to up to one load of furnace oil, Mr. Kannan said.

Police have picked up the owner of the oil firm Rajagopal, his manager, a driver and cleaner for questioning. A case was registered against them under Sections 3 and 4 of the Lubricants and Greases Processing and Supply Regulation Order of 1987 read with Section 7 (1) (a) (ii) of Essential Commodities Act.

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