Cops intercept five oil-tankers
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 18 2010: Amidst widespread reports about black marketing of petroleum products when the general public have been reeling under acute shortage and unavailability of petroleum products, five oil tankers coming along Guite Road in suspicious manner were seized by police yesterday.

Even as oil pumps have run dry a long time back, vendors selling petrol and diesel on road sides have become a common sight in Imphal and greater Imphal areas since the last few days.

The Sangai Express has been investigating into the possible mode of leakage of petroleum products from oil depots to black markets.

It was at this juncture when the five oil tankers travelling in secret along Guite Road were seized by Bishnupur police.

Bishnupur delivered the seized oil tankers to the 2nd IRB post at Khuman Lampak.

Suspicious about the stealthy manner in which the oil tankers were travelling and the drivers' choice of Guite Road, IOC officials have taken statements of the drivers and sent a report to the Government.

According to a source, the IOC officials said that the drivers took Guite Road as they had been already stranded for several days and had to remain stranded if they should take NH 53 which was blocked due to landslide.

On being asked how they crossed the Maokot where a bridge was yet to be constructed, the drivers reportedly said that they crossed the river through the river bed.

According to information received Chingmeirong IOC depot, the seized oil tankers have registration numbers MN01-7636, MN06T-0367, MN01-6929, AS01X 4917 and MN01 5994 .

Of the five oil tankers seized, loads of four have been distributed to United Brothers Kangpokpi, Porompat Service Station, Th Sorojini Service Station Khangabok, and the Government oil depot.

Regarding large scale black marketing of fuel oils, there is strong suspicion about serious anomalies in distribution of petroleum products. Petroleum products are being distributed to the public through oil pumps under IOC, NRL, Essar and BPCL.

Notably, all the oil-tankers bringing fuel oils to Manipur are first stationed at the post of 2nd IRB at Khuman Lampak.

But the Government has been monitoring distribution of fuel oils belonging to the IOC only.

The Government would first issue allocation of fuel oils to different oil pumps.

After this, necessary oil tankers would be loaded fuel oils at the IOC depot at the production of requisite challans.

For NRL, Essar and BPCL, all tankers are directly sent to their own oil pumps from Khuman Lampak.

Under this system, there is greater possibility of leakage or siphoning fuel oils.

Even as officials of CAF &PD Department were stationed at oil pumps during days of fuel oil distribution, leakage of fuel oils to black markets could not controlled.

Moreover, there is strong suspicion of selling off fuel oils in bulk to black marketers.

On the other hand, there is report of leakage of fuel oils allocated to Nagaland.

Fuel oils thus siphoned off from Nagaland quota reached Senapati and even Sekmai.

There is another report of importing petroleum products from Myanmar to Imphal through Moreh.

Yet, fuel oils brought from Nagaland and Myanmar cannot account for the large quantity of fuel oils available in black markets of Imphal and greater Imphal.