On Thursday night, 27 April, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Special Task Force (STF) busted a state-wide racket of petrol pump owners duping customers through fuel theft. The STF raided eight petrol pumps in Lucknow to check petrol and diesel theft and seized them. The owners ensured the fuel theft with the help of an electronic chip.
How did the electronic chip work?
The officials found that the petrol pump owners used electronic chips which, when inserted in the fuel vending machines, would display a certain quantity of fuel transferred on the dispensing machine while in fact the actual quantity of fuel transferred would have been much less.
For example, if a customer asked for five litres of fuel, they actually got half-litre less than their demand even though the machine showed that five litres had been transferred. This was made possible by the electronic chips.
An STF member explained: “The remote control is used to set the limit. If a customer takes 1 litre petrol from any station, in reality he receives only 940 ml if the dispensing machine is fitted with this chip. So, 60 ml goes into the account of the pump owner.”
Over 1000 chips are being used across UP
Authorities estimate that with the help of the chip, petrol pump owners were earning profits up to Rs 14 lakh each month.
Giving details of the operation, ASP (STF) Arvind Chaturvedi told The Times of India that on an informer’s tip-off the sleuths came to know about one Ravinder, who worked as an electrician in Lucknow. Ravinder had developed a chip for just Rs 3000 which if installed in the dispensing machine reduced the output by nearly 6%. The chip was attached with a wire that was linked with a remote control.
Ravinder reportedly sold this chip to over 1,000 petrol pump owners across UP. On his identification, eight pumps were raided in the city. All of them were found to be using the said chip.
The police caught the culprits after they received a tip off regarding the practice. The police have presently registered an FIR against the petrol pump owners.
The Logical Indian community appreciates the swift action taken by the UP and hopes that the people involved in this massive scam are identified, arrested, and punished accordingly.