Like everything has it’s own two sides, There are two kinds of unemployed people in country like India.
- The One who starts their own company, create self-fortune and opportunities for others and,
- The others who opt for a shortcut and indulge in crimes and scams for short term benefits.
The second type of people are those who scam innocent people and take undue advantage of them.
Thane Crime Branch has recently busted a nationwide spread multi crore scam of petrol which had been happening around and was undetected since last 1 decade.
It was all started in February this year when 35-year-old Ami Sheth raised concerns over the short delivery of petrol at a fuel station inCharkop, Kandivali, Mumbai. But even she didn’t know that this small issue could be a multi-crore scam with links across several states.
On February 28, Sheth went live on Facebook alleging that despite asking for a full tank, her vehicle’s fuel indicator did not show as full.
- Here’s the link to the video . (It was not live video but the video in which she explains exactly what happened )
Then in May, with the help of a Special Task Force of Uttar Pradesh (UP) police busted a racket wherein petrol dispensing units were found to be tampered with, resulting in lower delivery of fuel to customers. Their investigation revealed that the engineer of the said fraud was based in Mumbai’s neighbouring city, Thane.
The Thane police then followed up the leads and finally discovered the racket behind this multi crore scam active since last 10 years.
96 petrol pumps in Maharashtra have been raided by Thane Crime Branch, of which 56 were found tampered.
In the past two months, Thane police have arrested 23 persons of which eight are owners and managers of different petrol pumps, 12 are technicians of fuel dispensing unit manufacturing companies and three are software engineers involved in tampering dispensing units.
According to the police, the alleged mastermind of the scam, who holds a Masters degree in Science (Electronics) allegedly provided software-enabled micro chips, which controlled the supply of fuel in the dispensing units through remote controls, in UP and other states of India.
Thane Crime Branch arrested another person from Hubli in the Karnataka State of India. He is one of the accused, who imported original chips, to rig fuel dispensing units, from China and then sent tampered chips to China, South Africa, and Abu Dhabi. The police are now investigating if the racket was operative in other countries as well.
A common man would never be able to gauge that he has been duped by those involved in this racket, who are basically technicians and engineers. For common man, or oil companies it is next to impossible to ascertain if a unit has been rigged.
After the companies sell dispensing units to a dealer, a private technician or an employee from the dispensing unit manufacturing company approaches the dealer to help him earn extra bucks by controlling the fuel supply. The control card attached with the dispensing unit is then rigged with its Integrated Circuit (IC) after connecting it to a cable wire and laptop, from which a pirated programme is uploaded and activated after entering a four-digit password. This programme can be manually controlled with a remote sensor. (Source: Hindustan Times)
After the programme is activated, the petrol pump owner shortchanges customers by one litre fuel of every five litres supplied. It was also found that petrol pump owners have supplied two and a half litres instead of five litres. This modus operandi helped the petrol pump owners earn more money than the expected margin.
It was also found that the seal attached by the Legal Metrology Organisation (LMO) on the dispensing units were tampered with, and were replaced with a duplicate seal. This would make it impossible for the inspecting authorities to ascertain if the dispensing unit was tampered or not.
The earnings of petrol pumps depended on the number of consumers visiting the fuel station on a daily basis. Police are collecting the details of petrol pump owners and their assets as suspected, they have invested the ill-gotten money in properties too. During the raids, Police also found that many petrol pump owners have shut down their business and fled.
Let’s do some calculations, Let’s assume in the city like Mumbai (as it’s residing population is over 15 million and outsiders are there too), The number of people visiting petrol pump are 800–1000 per day in which they fill at least 2–5 liters of petrol each. I’m assuming the petrol pump is in city and it is easy for people to go and fill petrol from such petrol pumps.
So the total amount of petrol is 1000*5 which equals to 5000 litres each day,
Petrol price (Avg.) is RS. 70–74 in the city of Mumbai, so the total scam includes 1 litre petrol per 5 litres of petrol. That means 1000 litres of petrol per 5000 litres of petrol which costs around RS 70000–74000 per day and around 20 Lakhs (2 Million INR) a month and over 2 crores (20 million INR) a year.Which is minimum and that too with a cost of some 30000–35000 per unit.
Just imagine how much the owners of these petrol pumps scammed the common people. (Sigh)
It was also found that the corrupt LMO officials were paid monthly bribe by the petrol pump owners for not taking any action against them as they continued to cheat consumers. Police are collecting evidence against such officials and a report will be sent to the appropriate authority by the Police.(Source: Mumbai mirror)
It is the right of a consumer to check the supply of fuel through the five-litre test measure and find out if the petrol pump owner has shortchanged the consumer.
- According to the police, employees from companies that manufacture the dispensing units charge Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000 from a single petrol pump owner for tampering with the units.
- A private technician charges between Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 for the same.
In my opinion, it is the cleverest scam as it’s bit technical and can’t be easily be suspected by the common man.