Margherita police on Wednesday night arrested two people for their alleged involvement in oil theft from Powai area in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district.

The accused have been identified as Md Raju Ali and Bishnu Rai. Raju Ali is the driver of an oil tanker.

Acting on a tip-off about transportation of stolen oil in a tanker, a team of police led by Margherita Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Partha Pratim Das launched an operation and arrested two persons involved in the Oil theft from Bhagaban Dhaba in Powai area.

The police team also seized two vehicles that were used in the transportation of the stolen oil.

“We have seized one Tempo, one Maruti car, 50 litres of stolen oil, 6 empty gallon, and IMFL 80 bottles. We have started our investigation by checking every detail. We are also monitoring movement of oil tankers on the National Highway,” said a police officer.

A case has been registered in this regard at Digboi Police station.

“It is a big racket of oil theft and many people are involved in this racket. The drivers and handymen of the Oil tankers are also involved in the racket,” said the official.

Sources said this racket was operated in Tinsukia for a long time and most of the time these thieves operate from roadside dhabas.

Every day hundreds of oil tankers loaded with petrol and diesel from the IOC oil refinery, Digboi and Oil India Limited, Duliajan leave for various destinations of the Northeast.

Most of the tankers on their way usually stop at the roadside dhabas (eateries) located in the Moran-Sepon stretch on the NH-37 between Dibrugarh and Sivasagar districts.

A few months ago, Tinsukia police had busted a gang involved in the theft of crude oil from Oil tankers of Oil India Limited (OIL)

On July 30, Tinsukia police arrested nine persons involved in the theft of crude oil from Oil tankers.

Sources said the gangs in connivance with some unscrupulous drivers and helpers steal a certain amount of petrol or diesel from the tankers and then refill it with some cheap solvent or kerosene.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com