Islamabad: Police bust oil thieves once again
ISLAMABAD: For the third time in three years, the Sihala police have busted what is considered ‘routine’ theft of fuel from the oil tankers leaving the Pakistan State Oil Depot located in their area. ASI Tariq Mehmood, investigating the latest case, told Dawn that, acting on a tip-off, the police arrested four persons from Azam Town on Monday who were siphoning off fuel from two oil tankers. Drums filled with 880 litres of stolen fuel and the two tankers were seized. They, drivers of the two tankers, identified by their initials MA and AS, and buyers AN and BS confessed to the crime during the initial interrogation and disclosed that they had been in the business for “a couple of months” Drivers MA and AS, who were bound for Gilgit, disclosed that they had accomplices inside the depot, who left the outlet valves of the tankers unsealed, or half-sealed, and identified them too, according to the investigating officer.
ASI Mehmood said the four were taken to a court where police sought their custody on physical remand for reaching others involved in the racket through them, but the judge rejected the request and sent them to jail on judicial remand.
When asked for her comments, PSO spokeswoman Maryam Shah would agree to the possibility of involvement of contract carriage drivers, as in the past.
“We are responsible for our own tankers. As for contract tankers, our responsibility ends after they leave the depot,” she said, promising cooperation in the police investigations.
“If any of our staff members is found a suspect, PSO will inquire and take action,” she added.
A Sihala police officer thought large amount of fuel is stolen from oil tankers on their way from the PSO depot to filling stations in the vicinity as well as far off places, particularly from the tankers bound for government-run filling stations.
However, the police did not consider stopping the theft its prime duty.
That may be the reason for the police going after the petrol thieves once in a year. They caught them in 2010 and 2011 also.