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Uttar Pradesh police form SIT to probe multi-crore petrol pump scam

The raids, conducted by the Uttar Pradesh special task force, revealed that the petrol pump owners were using a hi-tech chip-based device to dispense lower quantities of petrol to consumers than what they paid for.

lucknow Updated: Apr 29, 2017 10:35 IST
Rohit K Singh
Rohit K Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Petrol pump,Multi-crore scam,Special task force
A petrol pump that was sealed for fraud in Lucknow on Friday. (PTI photo)

Uttar Pradesh director general of police Sulkhan Singh has constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe a multi-crore petrol pump scam exposed through raids at seven petrol pumps in the state capital.

The raids, conducted by the special task force (STF) on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, revealed that the petrol pump owners were using a hi-tech chip-based device to dispense lower quantities of petrol to consumers than what they paid for. The police action had followed the arrest of an electric technician – identified as Rajendra – who confessed to installing the “cheat chip” at hundreds of petrol pumps across Uttar Pradesh and beyond.

The raids also led to the arrest of 22 others, including four petrol pumps owners, after seven separate FIRs were registered in this connection. At least 15 electronic chips and 29 remote devices were seized from these filling stations. The officials sealed all the seven petrol pumps, and the cancellation of their licences has been recommended.

Singh said the SIT was formed because an exclusive team is required for conducting a proper investigation into the scam.

The team, headed by an IGP-rank officer, will probe all the seven FIRs registered in the case. More will be filed if required.

Singh has also issued an advisory to all district magistrates and superintendents of police across the state, asking them to form teams comprising officials from the district administration, law-enforcement, food and civil supply, and weight and measurement departments, to conduct raids on petrol pumps. They have also been told to organise seminars aimed at sensitising government officials as well as the public on the cheating mechanism employed by the petrol pumps.

According to senior superintendent of police (STF) Amit Pathak, the initial probe revealed that around 80% of the petrol pumps across the state were using the “cheat chip” to dispense low quantities of fuel. Uttar Pradesh petrol pump owners were siphoning off an estimated Rs 200 crore per month in this manner, he added.

Incidentally, the seven petrol pumps found using electronic chips to cheat customers included those owned by UP Petrol Pump Dealers’ Association president BN Shukla and his son, Gopal Shukla. The association president’s filling station – the Standard Petrol Pump – is located in Madiaon.

Among the petrol pump owners arrested were Aman and Anoop Mittal (Sheo Narain petrol pump in Cantonment area); Sharad Chand Vaishya (two Lalta Prasad filling stations at KGMU crossing and Daliganj); and Anand Kumar Rai (Maan fuel station near Galla Mandi).

First Published: Apr 29, 2017 10:31 IST