Diesel theft continues unabatedA Nepali tanker carrying 20,000 litres of diesel has illegally sold 8,000 litres of fuel in India, exposing another case of oil theft in the country.
Published at : April 2, 2018
Updated at : April 2, 2018 08:26
A Nepali tanker carrying 20,000 litres of diesel has illegally sold 8,000 litres of fuel in India, exposing another case of oil theft in the country.
The tanker with registration number Na 2 Kha 4352 was supposed to deliver 20,000 litres of fuel to five gasoline stations in the eastern Nepali district of Sunsari two days ago. But its driver, who is only known by the name of Munna, fled after supplying 12,000 litres of diesel to three gasoline stations—New Syarsekali, Govinda Oil and CD Jalpain.
When the driver absconded, the tanker contained 8,000 litres of diesel, which was later sold in India, where prices of petroleum products are higher than in Nepal, sources said. The empty tanker was found in Barauni of India from where the eastern
parts of the country get its fuel supplies.
The latest case of oil theft came to light after two gasoline stations—Milan Oil and Chandraman Pump—did not receive the diesel consignment on time and complained about it to state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).
A similar incident occurred six weeks ago when Krishna Yadav, the driver of an oil tanker with registration number Na 4 Kha 8733, illegally sold 16,000 litres of diesel
The tanker, which was transporting 20,000 litres of diesel to the Biratnagar depot of NOC from Indian Oil Corporation’s Barauni depot, had crossed the border into Nepal with just 4,000 litres of diesel.
Yadav had covered up the shortfall by refilling the tanker at Abhishek Birat Petrol Pump in Duhabi of Sunsari. The driver had even tried to overturn the vehicle to cover his misdeed, as he could not fetch enough diesel.
Theft of petroleum products meant for sales in Nepal has increased due to high prices of diesel and petrol in India. Per litre of diesel costs Rs28 more in India than in Nepal, while petrol is expensive by Rs22 per litre.
Although Nepal fully relies on India to get its supply of petroleum products, retail prices in the two countries differ, because Indian Oil Corporation sells fuel to NOC at special rates.
Officials of NOC said that cases of tanker drivers illegally selling Nepal-bound gasoline in India are on the rise. Previously, two tankers had illegally sold 40,000 litres of Nepal-bound diesel in India, according to the state-owned oil distributor. Drivers of tankers with registration numbers Na 4 Kha 9410 and Na 4 Kha 3937 tried to cover up their misdeeds by stating the vehicles had met with accidents.
A profit of around Rs600,000 can be generated if each fuel tanker bound for Nepal sells diesel in India and covers the shortfall by purchasing the fuel in Nepal.
Bhanubhakta Khanal, head of the regional depot of NOC in Biratnagar, said that the corporation was investigating the malpractice. He also said that the regional depot can recommend concerned authorities to annul the registration of tankers involved in unscrupulous behaviour.