Amidst the continuous hike in diesel prices, which is nearing the Rs 80 mark per litre in Mumbai, the city crime branch has foiled a diesel smuggling attempt in the Arabian Sea near Sewree and has seized 10,000 litres of diesel along with a fishing boat.
Acting on a tip-off, in the wee hours on Wednesday, a team from property cell we're started following a fishing boat which was speedingly moving suspiciously from Haji Bandar on eastern sea shore of the city. When the police team who were on fishing boats to avoid suspension ordered the suspicious boat to stop, he ignored the police signals and began to flee.
When the police's boats started to close in, the boat took a sharp turn towards Ghaslet Bandar and its occupants then jumped in the sea and escaped in the nearby mangroves.
The boat was later brought to shore and when it was inspected, the police found 10,000 litres of diesel worth 7.8 lakh stored in it which was seized along with the boat. "We have registered an offence under different sections of IPC and Essential Commodities Act at Sewree police station and further investigation will be carried out by the property cell," said Shahaji Umap, Crime Branch's Deputy Commissioner of police.
"We have identified the smugglers involved in the smuggling activity and the owner of the boat and we will soon arrest them, " said an official.
Smuggling of oil including diesel is an old business, the smugglers steal oil from containers ships or oil tankers with the help their men on ships who are also a part of the racket. The smuggled oil is later sold to different merchants sometimes as a raw material or sometimes after mixing it with some base at a cheaper rate.