6 held for stealing diesel from ONGC pipeline

6 held for stealing diesel from ONGC pipeline


District Crime Intelligence Bureau (DCIB) police have nabbed six persons in connection with theft of about 12,000 lts diesel from ONGC’s Mangalore-Bangalore pipeline in Neriya forest of Belthangady.

The arrested are Edward M D’Souza (42) from Kana in Suratkal, Avil Coelho (48) from Nayarkudru in Thanneerbavi, Chandrashekhar (33) from Katakeri in Kodagu, Seetharam (37) from Mulikaru of Dharmasthala, Chinnaiah (35) and Thammaiah (21) from Piriyadka of Belthangady.

DCIB Inspector H N Venkatesh Prasanna on Friday said two other accused Thimmaiah, owner of a petrol bunk and Ramesh, a broker, are absconding.
Police have seized a tanker, two cars, a drilling machine, meter gauge, digging equipment, a cordless phone, seven cell phones, and Rs 1.86 lakh cash from the arrested.

A case had been registered in Belthangady police station on January 4 that certain miscreants had stolen diesel from the ONGC’s Mangalore-Bangalore pipeline near Santyaya river in Puduvettu village by making a hole in the pipeline. Superintendent of Police Dr A S Rao had formed a special team of the DCIB police to probe the case.
Among the arrested, Edward D’Souza and Chandrashekhar already have five cases against them regarding petrol and diesel theft in Bantwal and Belthangady taluks.

Chandrashekhar is a tanker driver in the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). The Inspector said another accused Avil Coelho is an expert in drilling the pipelines. One more accused Seetharam is the one who looked after the security of the pipeline stretch where the theft occurred.

Investigations have revealed that the accused stole 12,000 lts diesel from the pipeline and sold the same to a petrol bunk in Madikeri owned by one Thimmaiah with the help of one broker Ramesh from Hassan. They sold the diesel for Rs 3.60 lakh, Prasanna informed.

The petrol bunk has already been locked. The ONGC will be cancelling its licence. The role of ONGC officials themselves has been suspected in this major theft case, he said. Cases will be filed under Essential Commodities Act and Petroleum and Mineral Pipeline Act, he added.

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