Organised racket steals crude oil from Cairn India’s onshore field in Rajasthan
Indian police have unravelled a smuggling case at Cairn India’s onshore oilfield in Barmer in the state of Rajasthan.
According to media reports, the smuggling racket pilfered more than 50 million litres of crude oil, using water tankers meant for collecting waste water at the oilfield.
It is reported that the criminal activity went unnoticed for around six years, and was unearthed after the police received complaints from the company.
Barmer district police chief Gangandeep Singla was quoted by AFP as saying: "The company suspected something fishy was happening and complained to us, and during investigations we found this was an organised ring.”
Around 25 people have been arrested in connection with the heist, which is said to be valued in the vicinity of Rs490m ($7.58m), and more arrests are expected to follow.
The police indicated that transporters colluded with staff of the oilfield and carried out the illegal operation, later supplying the crude oil to local companies who sell it in different parts of the country.
In a statement, Hindustan Times reported that the 40,000l tankers were used to carry oil in two of the five compartments, with the remaining used to transport water.
Cairn Energy is a subsidiary of British mining company Vedanta Resources.