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NOC begins probe into gasoline smuggling

   February 26, 2018        365   

Biratnagar depot of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), the state-owned distributor of petroleum products in the country, has launched an investigation into illegal selling of gasoline in India by tankers en-route to Nepal.

The malpractice came to NOC’s notice about two weeks ago when a tanker with number plate Na 4 Kha 8733 driven by Krishna Yadav was reported to have sold 16,000 litres of diesel in India. The tanker, which was transporting 20,000 litres of diesel from Barauni depot in India, crossed the border into Nepal with just 4,000 litres of diesel.

Gasoline imported from India is sold en route before reaching Nepal as prices are higher across the border.

Currently, diesel is dearer in India by Rs28, while petrol by Rs22 compared to the prices in Nepal, luring tanker drivers to pocket quick bucks by selling gasoline in India. As Nepal-bound tankers were coming in

only partially filled, the NOC has had to hike gasoline imports. Once in the Nepali territory, they would fill up fuel at local petrol pumps to make up the shortfall amount.

Tanker driver Yadav tried to cover up the shortfall amount by filling diesel from Abhishek Birat Petrol Pump in Duhabi of Sunsari. However, after the driver could not obtain enough diesel, he tried to cause an accident to cover up his misdeed. Sources later confirmed that the tanker owner returned the full amount of diesel to NOC’s Biratnagar depot by fetching the shortfall amount from his own pump Krishna Enterprises in Itahari. Driver Yadav is absconding.

“From Sunday NOC has started monitoring both incoming and outgoing tankers in border areas to check this malpractice,” said Bhanu Bhakta Khanal, head of the NOC Biratnagar depot.

According to the NOC, the figures for daily consumption of diesel and petrol in the eastern region have surged by 25 and 35 percent to 750 kilolitres and 250 kilolitres respectively as compared to the figures in the last fiscal year. The NOC issues around 12 kilolitres of petroleum products to each gas station in the region. Nepal-bound

gasoline is smuggled and sold in India whenever fuel prices surge there. Fuel smuggling is said to be rampant in Rangeli, Karsiya and Dainiya of Morang as well as Bhantabari, Inaruwa, Sayebjung, Kaptanjung and Dewanjung in Sunsari.

From The Kathmandu Post

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