In a major bust, authorities have seized 33 fuel stations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh after they busted an inter-state gang which was allegedly cheating consumers by using electronic chips to manipulate discharge of fuel. The police and the legal metrology department of both the Telugu states conducted joint raids and apprehend the gang, which was installing integrated chips in filling machines at fuel stations to dispense less fuel than the actual display on the filling machine board.
The police said for every 1,000 ml of petrol or diesel, these fuel stations were dispensing 970 ml. The fuel stations include 17 pumps belonging to the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) in Andhra and five in Telangana, followed by nine pumps of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and two run by the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), besides two Essar pumps.
Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar announced the arrest of the gang on Saturday. He said that integrated chips (ICs) programmed with manipulated software were installed with the connivance of fuel station owners, causing loss of crores of rupees to the consumers.
Cyberabad and Nandigama police nabbed one Subhani Basha and recovered about 14 ICs, eight displays, three GBR cables, one motherboard and one Hyundai i20 car.
The main accused Basha, Babji Baba, Madasuguri Shankar and I Malleshwar Rao all hail from Eluru town of Andhra Pradesh.
The police also arrested nine owners of various fuel stations in both the states. Five other owners were absconding. Joseph and Shibu Thomas, two electronic chip and instrument suppliers from Mumbai, are also absconding.
According to the police, Basha learnt how the fuel station pump mechanism works and became an expert in that field. The accused used to purchase the chips and manipulated software from Joseph and Shibu Thomas in Mumbai, programmed the chips and installed them in different fuel stations at the rate of Rs 80,000 to Rs 1,20,000 per installation.
The accused used to install the ICs only in one fuel pump out of two. For filling fuel in vehicles, manipulated pumps were used and to fill in plastic bottles and cans, regular pumps were used which did not have manipulated chips, so that the public did not know about the fraud.
#CYBERABADPOLICE APPREHENSION OF INTERSTATE GANG INDULGING IN CHEATING AND IRREGULARITIES IN FUEL STATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.https://t.co/A4HRTTkQlY@TelanganaDGP @hydcitypolice @RachakondaCop @TelanganaCOPs pic.twitter.com/RUrd1fjmuEâ€” Cyberabad Police (@cyberabadpolice) September 5, 2020
The police commissioner said that information related to cheating and irregularities has been shared with Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
"To prevent such large scale cheating and irregularities, these corporations have been alerted to be more vigilant in the future. This cheating can't be detected by each and every consumer. The vigilance teams which visit fuel stations regularly have to check for such chips," he said.
Here's the full list of petrol pumps which have been shut down by the police. In some of the stations, more than one fuel pump was tampered with:
1. Matha Filling Station (BPCL) Nandigama, Kothur Town
2. Gayathri Fill Point (IOCL) Alladugr, Medak district
3. Tirumala Filling station (IOCL) Domakonda, Kamareddy district
4. Sri Vijaya Durga Filling station (BPCL), Domakonda, Kamareddy district
5. Taj Filling Station (BPCL) Kotpally, Vikarabad district
6. Sai Ganesha Filling station (BPCL), Melacheruvu, Suryapet district
7. Parsuram Filling station (HPCL), Chilkuru, Suryapet district
8. Dattasai KSK (IOCL), Motakondur, Bhuvanagiri district
9. Vinayaka Filling station (IOCL) Bibinagar, Bhuvanagiri district
10. Shiridi Sai Auto Service (IOCL) RC Puram, Sangareddy district
11. Durga Filling station (HPCL) BDL Bhanoor, Sangareddy district
12. Saraswathi filling Station (IOCL), Eluru, West Godavari district
13. Essar petrol bunk, Bhimadole, West Godavari district
14. IO Petrol Bunk, Dwaraka Tirumala, West Godavari district
15. Bharat Petrol Bunk, Eluru, West Godavari district
16. Bharat Petrol Bunk, Pedavegi, West Godavari district
17. IOCL Petrol Bunk Kovvur, West Godavari district
18. Indian Oil Petrol Bunk, Nallajarla, West Godavari district
19. Mahalakshmi filling station, Peravali, West Godavari district
20 Swethana Filling Station, Palakol Town, West Godavari district
21. Uma Maheswari Agro Services, Indian oil Petrol Bunk, Bhimavaram, West Godavari district
22. Essar petrol Bunk, Narsapur Town
23. RSR Filling Station, Naguluppalapadu, Prakasam district
24. Jesu Ali Petrol bunk, Piduguralla Town, Guntur district
25. IOCL Kothapet, Ravulapalem, East Godavari district
26. IOCL Naidupet, East Godavari district
27. BPCL Chitoor town
28. IOCL Ramchandrapuram, East Godavari district
29. IOCL Gokavaram, Rajahmundry district
30. IOCL Rayavaram, Visakhapatnam district
With IANS inputs