In a crackdown against theft and illegal sale of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), the Pimpri Chinchwad Police arrested 22 persons after simultaneous raids at four places in Sangvi area. The accused used to work for the franchise agencies of two public sector petroleum majors, the police said.
Probe by the Social Security Cell of Pimpri Chinchwad Police has revealed that the suspects had been stealing gas from LPG cylinders due for delivery to the customers and were refilling the stolen gas into other cylinders and selling them.
Following a tip off about the gas theft, teams from Social Security Cell led by Senior Inspector Vitthal Kubde conducted raids at Moraya Park, Jambhulkar Park, Krushnaraj Colony and Gangurde Nagar in Sangvi and Pimple Gurav areas in Pimpri Chinchwad police jurisdiction on Saturday. The 22 suspects were subsequently booked by the police on Sunday.
Pimpri Chinchwad police commissioner Krishna Prakash said, “While the act of theft of gas has led to losses to the customers, the method these suspects were using is also hazardous to the public safety. The role of the owners of these gas agencies is being probed and will continue to take action against such illegal activities pertaining to essential commodities.”
Explaining the modus operandi of the suspects, Senior Inspector Kubde said, “The suspects devised a way to take out gas from sealed cylinders. From the cylinder due for delivery, they used to take out up to two kilograms of gas, something that is difficult to detect when delivered at home, unless weighed on a scale. This stolen gas was refilled into empty cylinders and sold in black market. They used to make sure that the seal remained intact.”
In the raids conducted at four locations, police arrested 22 persons, seized 381 gas cylinders along with four delivery vehicles used by the suspects. An offence against the arrested suspects was registered on Sunday under Indian Penal Code sections pertaining to theft and negligent behaviour with respect to combustible material and relevant provisions of Essential Commodities Act.
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