Barmer oil scam: Big fish yet to fall in police net
Investigations into the Barmer oil scam reveal that the people arrested in the scam are mostly “small fish” while many of the “big fish” are yet to fall in the net, sources in the police department saidjaipur Updated: Jul 26, 2017 20:21 IST
Investigations into the Barmer oil scam reveal that the people arrested in the scam are mostly “small fish” while many of the “big fish” are yet to fall in the net, sources in the police department said.
Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party also questioned the police investigation and demanded a CBI probe into the matter. They claimed that officials of Cairn Oil and Gas — the company producing oil in Barmer — are also involved in the multi-crore scam, besides some crude transporters and police officials.
The Barmer police have claimed involvement of “field level employees” in the oil scam that was running for the past six years and ₹11 crore were being swindled every year. The police claimed that tanker operators, after their tankers were filled with crude and sealed at the filling points, pilfered the crude on way to the processing terminal by breaking the seal.
How was it possible to break the tanker seal without connivance of the company officials? ask BJP leaders. Barmer superintendent of police Gagandeep Singla also admitted that such a huge theft by field level staff was not possible without the involvement of top authorities. He said further investigations by the police will reveal more facts. He said initial investigations indicated that the theft was being carried out in connivance with crude oil transporters, some company officials and employees.
Despite this, the police have not arrested any official or employee of the company. So far, the police have arrested 27 people, along with four employees of a Cairn’s subsidiary company.
Meanwhile, the police also questioned security at the crude filling points. There is tight security at the oil well and processing terminal. It is almost impossible to enter the campus without permission. In such a scenario, the question arises how only field level staff could make such a huge theft that too for past six years.
Singla also agreed to the security lapse and said the police will investigate into the matter from the point of view and inform the state government.
In its reply to HT’s query, a statement from Cairn Oil and Gas said, “As part of the investigation into the recent crude theft case, Cairn Oil and Gas has suspended some of its vendors. The company had earlier informed the police about suspicious activities around tanker movements and filed an FIR in this case. The police are investigating and the company is supporting the police in every possible manner in the (joint) investigation.”
The police busted the scam, in which more than 50 million litre of crude was stolen from Cairn’s onshore oilfield in Barmer during the past six years, this week. So far, the police have arrested 31 people in the case. Further investigations are on.
First Published: Jul 26, 2017 20:21 IST