KOHAT: The Kohat police and the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited officials in a joint operation on Tuesday arrested the leader of an inter-district gang for smuggling crude oil worth millions of rupees through a secret tunnel.

The Shakardarra police led by SHO Javed Khan arrested the gang leader, Mohammad Hanif of Karori Kalay area, who along with two other members had dug a tunnel inside his house and linked it with the main pipeline of crude oil. They pumped barrels of oil daily and smuggled it to other districts, where the commodity was refined through improvised methods.

The other two members of the gang, Rizwan and Rafiullah of Karak district, who used to collect the crude oil and then smuggled it, managed to escape.

SHO Javed Khan said the gang was causing a huge loss to the exchequer.

The police after registering a case against the three accused, launched a search operation for arrest of the other two members of the gang.

PUMP OWNERS THREATEN STRIKE: The petroleum association of Kohat division has threatened to shut the filling stations indefinitely if the government does not raise their commissions to seven per cent from the current two per cent by Nov 15.

The office-bearers of the association warned that if any pump owner tried to open the station after Nov 15 he would be fined Rs500,000.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the association’s chairman Amjid Shinwari, patron-in-chief Mohammad Afridi, president Shabbir Shinwari and general secretary Ali Sher Afridi said electricity tariff and professional tax had been raised by 10 per cent each, but their commissions remained the same. They said the authorities had made promises three years ago that the commissions of the filling stations’ owners would be increased, but to no avail.

They asked the government to bring down the petroleum levy so that relief could be provided to the inflation-stricken people.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2021

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