RAWALPINDI: Following a fire at the main oil supply line in Dhamial on Monday, the owner of a house and four of its tenants were booked by the police on the charge of stealing crude oil from the line.

A two-member team, comprising SP Saddar Division Nabeel Ahmed and Additional Deputy Commissioner Revenue Nabeel Ali, was formed by the commissioner Rawalpindi to investigate the incident and submit a report within seven days.

The police have launched a hunt for the arrest of the suspects who escaped after the incident.

Ishfaq Ali Nadeem lodged an FIR with the Saddar Baroni police, stating he had been serving as senior executive (admin) with POL Pakistan which supplied crude oil to Attock Oil Refinery at Morgah through a pipeline.

The company’s pipeline passes through Dhamial where some people had constructed buildings on the right of way. He said he received information on December 25 at about 10am that a fire had broken out in a house located close to the crude oil pipeline at Dhamial.

He said he rushed to the spot and found that Raja Ghulam Mustafa, Mohammad Sarfraz, Mohammad Aslam and Sardar Tariq had got a house on rent which was located near the 10-inch diameter crude oil pipeline and clamped it to steal oil.

He added that the suspects had been stealing oil and stored it in an underground tank after connecting a 10-foot pipe to the main line. The suspects escaped from the scene after the fire broke out.

Firefighters, police and district administration officials reached the scene and later the police recovered a 20-foot-long pipe laying underground and a clamp fixed to the crude oil pipeline. In addition, the police also recovered 33 barrels of crude oil.

The complainant said the pipe line’s repair had been started after suspending the crude oil supply. He alleged that the house owner, Mohammad Kabeer Khan, had facilitated the suspects by renting out his house to them, adding 316 barrels of crude oil had been stolen from the pipeline, causing the company a loss of Rs8,405,600.

The complaint requested the police to conduct geo-fencing of the area to trace the suspects for legal action against them.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2023

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