HYDERABAD: The special operations team (SOT) of Cyberabad police unearthed a scam which was operated via petrol bunks in the city and apprehended a gang of eight men, including bunk operators, staff and owners who were siphoning petrol with help of a manipulative software chip installed in the machines.
Police officials told Deccan Chronicle that nearly Rs 3 lakh was siphoned per petrol station and that the software was found in 22 bunks in Telangana, including six in the city.
"The drive was held across the state and we have also cautioned our counterparts from Andhra Pradesh about the same. It has been revealed that they were siphoning 30 ml of petrol per litre," said an official from SOT.
The investigation, jointly done by SOT and Jeedimetla and Medchal police, led to officials tracing the installation of integrated chips, which were programmed with manipulated software, in fuel-filling machines at various petrol bunks, causing heavy loss to consumers by delivering less than the actual display of fuel, said DCP of Balanagar P. V. Padmaja.
The arrested persons were identified as MD Faizul Bari (46), a mechanic, Kurade Sandeep (38), MD Aslam (29) and Kalimera Narsinga Rao (32). Owners of petrol bunks included Vandyala Vamshidhar Reddy (30), Rangu Ramesh (39), Beeravelli Maheshwar Rao (49) and Nagandla Venkatesh (28).
The seized property include six two-wheelers, three motherboards, two laptops, nine mobile phones, one universal programmer, one programme adapter and several other components used for manipulation of filling meters.
Cases were registered against them at Jeedimetla, Medchal, Mailardevpally, Jawaharnagar, Medipally and 28 petrol bunks at Kamareddy, Khammam, Wanaparthy, Mahaboobnagar, Nellore, Suryapet, Siddipet and other various places in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, said police officials.
"Bari, Sandeep, Aslam and Narsinga Rao previously worked as petrol bunk pump mechanics at various fuel stations and learnt the functioning of pump mechanisms. Faizul and Sandeep were previously involved in a cheating case in the same petrol bunk at Kukatpally PS. They installed manipulated chips in fuel-dispensing machines. The accused purchased the manipulated software from Jayesh, a resident of Surat," said the DCP, adding that Narasinga Rao then continued installing the same manipulated chips and metres at different petrol pumps in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh charging Rs 1-2 lakh for each programmed chip installation from the petrol bunk owner. The accused were booked under Sections 420, 265 and 266 of the IPC
"Every petrol station has a software upgrade every three months to detect/avoid such scams. They were only able to target GVR petrol stations. Further investigation is under progress," added officials....