TAMIL NADU

Police raid brings to light three illegal units selling adulterated engine oil in Tiruchi dt.

R. Rajaram

TIRUCHI: In a sudden operation undertaken on Monday, the police brought to light three illegal units that have allegedly been selling adulterated engine oil after reprocessing used oil. While two fake units were detected at Pirattiyur in the city police limits, the third was busted at Siruganur in the district.

The fake units were involved in the illegal activity for several years now without a licence. The crime was unearthed following information given to the Superintendent of Police, Tiruchi (Rural), N.K. Senthamaraikannan, under whose direction a raid was conducted at Siruganur where the first fake unit was spotted.

Based on information received during the operation, a police team busted two more illegal units at Pirattiyur. The units at Pirattiyur were located next to each other, tucked a few kilometres away from the Tiruchi - Dindigul national highway. The fake units, police sources here said, allegedly procured huge quantities of used engine oil in barrels from the workshops of bulk sellers.

The sources said that those involved in the operation used to mix caustic soda and sulphuric acid with used engine oil and heat it. The oil would then be filtered and purified before being sold in bulk to distributors.

Police sources said suitable colours would be added to the adulterated oil before it was sold to outlets. The fake units have been indulging in the illegal activity for three years. Empty cans were procured from Madurai to pack the adulterated oil before being despatched to the distributors.

The adulterated engine oil, meant for two-wheelers and four-wheelers, used to be sold at half the price of the original branded oil available in the market. During the raid, the police seized huge quantities of adulterated engine oil that were `ready for use' as well as used oil kept in barrels. The units were said to be making a good profit to the tune of Rs.5 lakhs a month. In all, the raids resulted in the seizure of several barrels containing `ready for use' adulterated engine oil and used oil kept for reprocessing.

Efforts to be taken to unearth network

The Inspector General of Police, Central Zone, S. George, told The Hindu that the police would go deep into the issue to find the entire network behind the fake units, their suppliers and distributors.

"Since it is a serious anti-social act we will go into this thoroughly," he added.

The oil companies are likely to be roped in to detect the network behind the crime.

Since the units have been unearthed in the city police and Tiruchi rural jurisdiction, it would now be a joint operation, the IG said. Mr. Senthamaraikannan inspected the units at Pirattiyur. Meanwhile, the police picked up four persons for questioning in connection with the crime.

Cases would be registered against the accused under the Indian Penal Code and Essential Commodities Act and the units would be sealed.

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