//The secret of navy oil theft

The secret of navy oil theft

Transporter hired to supply oil from IOC to Indian Navy used special tanks to retain 20 per cent of the oil, which was then resold to other ships

Dippy Vankani, Mumbai Mirror, 3, Feb 2006

An employee of Raj Shipping Company, which was involved in a multi-million oil pilferage racket that was busted by the Mumbai police last week, has unravelled the ingenious modus operandi employed to steal oil meant for the Indian Navy.

Raj Shipping Company was hired by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to transport oil to the Indian Navy and other merchant navy companies in and around Mumbai. The company used barges that had special chambers (called no return chambers) that retained about 20 per cent of the oil poured into it. When the fuel was unloaded by the Indian Navy, the 20 per cent in these chamber remained intact. In this way, only 80 per cent of the total oil was supplied to the customer, while the remaining was unloaded later and sold to other ships by the transporter.

Internationally, flow meters are used to measure outflow while unloading liquid cargo. However, in India sounding rods are used to ensure that tanks have been emptied. Crew members, who were in cahoots with the transporter would use the sounding rod only where they knew the barges were empty.

Eleven Raj Shipping employees, arrested on January 31 in connection with the pilferage, were granted bail on Thursday.