Multi-crore petrol pump scam unearthed in Uttar Pradesh
Multiple petrol pump stations were shut down in the state of Uttar Pradesh by Special Task Force.
At most petrol pump stations in the country, you have to be very careful. Everyday cases are registered by citizens where fuel attendants working at petrol pump stations are caught fleecing unaware citizens.
There are multiple ways they try to fleece customers, especially those who do not pay attention at the fuel meter. The most favorite and easiest is where they fill fuel of lesser worth. You order fuel worth INR 1,000. The person before you had ordered fuel worth of INR 500. So the fuel attendant does not reset the meter reading to 0, and fill fuel from INR 500 to INR 1,000. By the end of it, you see the meter reading as 1,000, and pay that much amount. The attendant has made INR 500.
Similarly there are many other ways. Some times they fleece you in spite of keeping an eye on the fuel meter. You make sure that the fuel attendant starts to fill fuel from 0. But then, he stops mid-way. You ask the attendant, why did you stop, he replies saying that he heard you say fill fuel worth of INR 500. Exactly at this point, his colleague comes up. Asks you to pay. You take away your attention from the fuel attendant.
Once you are done paying, and collecting payment receipt, the fuel attendant shows you that he has filled another INR 500 worth of fuel. You wonder why did the fuel attendant had to reset the meter to 0 in the first place, cause all he had to do was to go to INR 1,000 from the INR 500 mark. But this is where he made his move. He never filled another INR 500 worth of fuel.
Readers keep reporting about such malpractices every time. Our advice is to make sure you keep an eye on the fuel meter reading from the start till the end. If they stop mid-way, make sure no one takes your attention away. But, in spite of keeping an eye on the fuel meter reading, there is a chance that you are getting looted when you fill fuel.
A state-wide hunt in Uttar Pradesh has unearthed a huge racket where the fuel pumps were rigged electronically. This means, no matter what you do, if you are getting your fuel filled from such a pump, you are getting looted in broad daylight.
As many as 23 persons have been arrested in connection with fraudulent practices at 7 petrol stations in UP. These petrol stations were found to be fitted with 15 electronic chips operated via remote controls in a bid to dupe customers by filling less fuel. The petrol dispensing machines were fitted with remote controlled electronic chips to deliver less fuel and 15 such electronic chips along with 29 remote controls have been seized. 4 owners along with 9 managers, 9 salesmen and 1 technician have also been arrested.
Acting on a tip off, Arvind Chaturvedi, Additional Superintendent of Police STF, stated that an electrician by the name of Ravinder, from Lucknow had developed this chip which was sold to petrol stations in the area at a cost of INR 3,000. Ravinder has confirmed that he has sold this chip to over 1000 petrol pump owners across Uttar Pradesh. Once installed in petrol dispensing machines, it reduces output by as much as 6%. Reduced fuel delivery in this manner causes pump owners to earn around INR 6-12 lakhs as profit per month, depending on business. With multiple petrol pumps resorting to this, the total loot is expected to have been in crores every month.
This fraud is not new. It has been going on for the past 8 years reaping rich rewards for pump owners as has been revealed by Amit Pathak, Senior Superintendent of Police STF. He stated that the chips are produced in Kanpur and make their way to Delhi to be synced to a remote control following which it is installed in petrol dispensing machines across the state. The racket has been busted, the Union Petroleum Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan has congratulated the STF team while strict action is sought against the guilty.