MATHURA: The gang involved in the Rs 100 crore oil theft from the Mathura-Jalandhar pipeline of Indian Oil Corporation had plans to target two more pipelines. Investigations into the organised racket over the past 15 days have revealed that the thieves had started their groundwork to draw oil from Mathura-Barauni and Mathura-Tundla pipelines.
An investigating officer said the gang, comprising over two dozen members, had identified deserted points where the pilferages were to be done. Technical experts of the gang were also asked to dig tunnels in the manner they had done for Mathura-Jalandhar pipeline. Incidents of oil theft from Mathura-Barauni pipeline were reported earlier also, said the officer.
Mastermind Manoj Goyal, who owns many petrol pumps in Agra, leads the gang and assigns roles to its members. They had planned to shift focus on these two new pipelines after shutting the operation at Mathura-Jalandhar pipeline. The well-trained members were deployed for different pipelines, added the officer.
After interrogation of the four accused, the police have put on surveillance over 80 phone numbers, including some of the officials of the refinery.
Altering oil density
Investigation has revealed that oil mafia also changed the density of oil to avoid detection of the source of the stolen oil. Mathura has depots of Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum. The gang mixes oil from a different refinery in the tanker to change the density after which it becomes impossible to identify the stolen oil’s company.