VASCO: The Verna police on Thursday succeeded in busting a three-member gang that was involved in the pilferage of petroleum products by tapping the main pipeline connected to Zuari Indian Oil Tanking Ltd (ZIOTL) from Mormugao Port Trust.
The Verna PI, Mr Jivba Dalvi disclosed that the police have seized three vehicles - a Eicher lorry bearing registration number GA-02-U-8880 used for the transporting the stolen petroleum products, a Fiat Palio car which was parked at the pilferage site in order to conceal the hole and a Maruti Alto car bearing registration number KA-21-M-4113 used by the culprits to travel to various locations.
Interestingly, two from the trio were also involved in a similar case of pilferage of petroleum products reported in July, 2002 in the MPT premises in Vasco. The police disclosed the names of the two prime culprits as Uday Naik (47), a resident of Chicalim, Vasco and Prashant Shailesh Francis Viegas alias Santosh Kumar (31), a native of Mangalore, while the name of the third is Armugam Muthaiyya (29), a native of Mangalore.
The police produced two of the accused Prashant and Armugam before the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Vasco on Thursday evening and obtained a 7-day police custody. The five-member police team led by Verna PI, Mr Dalvi during wee hours on Thursday at around 2 a.m kept a watch on the Goa-Karnataka border on a tip-off that two of the culprits, who had entered Karnataka after the police had exposed the pilferage case, are coming back into Goa. The police team nabbed the culprits Prashant and Armugam and brought them to the Verna police station. Prime accused Uday Naik was arrested from his residence at Chicalim after tips from the other two accused.