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Barmer crude scam: Cairn removes over 10 officials

Cairn Oil and Gas has removed more than 10 officials for their alleged links with the Barmer crude oil scam

jaipur Updated: Aug 25, 2017 19:52 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
Mukesh Mathrani
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan News,Cairn Oil and Gas,crude oil scam
Cairn earlier suspended 31 contracts and sub-contracts, leaving hundreds of workers jobless.(HT File Photo)

Cairn Oil and Gas has removed more than 10 officials for their alleged links with the Barmer crude oil scam.

Investigating agencies – initially the police and then the special operations group (SOG) -- have found involvement of Cairn employees and officials in the oil scam. Police have arrested four company employees who are now in judicial custody.

In July, police unearthed a syndicate smuggling more than 50 million litres of crude oil inside water tankers from India’s largest onshore oilfield in Barmer. The theft at the Cairn India oilfield went undetected for nearly six years until police arrested 31 people for involvement in the smuggling.

Cairn removed Manoj Agarwal as CSR (corporate social responsibility) head at Barmer and suspended Pinaki Dutta as CSR manager. Company officials said others who were suspended included Mandeep Dhahiya (security in-charge), Parag Seth (production in-charge), Lloyed (installation in-charge) and Hemant Sharma (CSR manager).

BJP leaders had alleged involvement of Cairn officials in the scam and demanded action against them. Raising the oil theft in parliament, Barmer MP Col. Sonaram Choudhary had named two company officials -- Manoj Agarwal and Pinaki Dutta – for involvement. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had stopped Choudhary from naming people in the Lok Sabha.

Cairn had earlier suspended 31 contracts and sub-contracts, leaving hundreds of workers jobless.

According to police, tanker operators were stealing produced crude when it was being transported to the processing terminal through tankers from wells. Two companies -- Narendra Road Lines Ltd (NRL) of Gujarat and local firm Shree Mohangarh Construction Company (SMCC) – were transporting the crude.

Police said 44 tankers were used for crude transportation; 33 tankers -- 11 of NRL and 22 of SMCC – were seized and five kept under vigilance. After the theft was detected, the company removed both the transporters.

More than 75 people, many drivers and contractors working at the oilfield, are still wanted in connection with the theft, police said.

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 19:52 IST