KARACHI: Customs Intelligence officials have busted a major racket of stealing and selling non duty paid diesel from the white oil pipeline of Pakistan Arab Refinery Company (PARCO) in Karachi.

Instructions and information was passed through Director General Customs Intelligence Mr Faiz Chadhar to Director Customs Intelligence, Karachi Engineer Ahmed to Additional Director Afzaal Wattoo that that non duty paid diesel going from Karachi to PARCO, Muzaffargar through white oil pipeline was being stolen by unscrupulous elements and sold in the market.

Deputy Director along with Superintendent Irshad Shah and ASO team conducted surveillance on suspected industrial premises in Karachi and found an edible oil extraction mill at Port Qasim involved in this illegal activity.

The mill had dug a 174 ft long tunnel that connected to the PARCO pipeline and was siphoning off non duty paid diesel from it. The stolen diesel was then sold in the market at a lower price.

The officials raided the mill at 3 pm and recovered 65,000 liters of non duty paid diesel worth Rs20 million on the spot. The owner of the mill along with three other accomplices were arrested and taken into custody for further investigation.

The Customs Intelligence will probe the extent and duration of this theft, which is expected to touch billion of rupees.

The involvement of PARCO staff in this racket is also being investigated. A First Information Report (FIR) will be lodged against the culprits soon.

Mr Chadhar said that this was a unique case of theft of non duty paid petroleum products of PARCO and praised the efforts of his team for exposing it.

He said that smuggling of diesel and other commodities not only causes huge losses to the national exchequer, but also harms the local industry and the economy.