The police today arrested Nepal Oil Corporation manager of western regional office Bhalbari Nagindra Kumar Kurmi for his suspected involvement in diesel theft.

The police had arrested other suspects on charges of stealing 17,000 litres of diesel while being ferried to depots across Nepal from India. Police nabbed Kurmi after interrogating Rabindra Kumar Raut and Debendra Basnet of NOC Bhalbari depot and the tanker’s driver, who were arrested.

Last week Rupandehi police had arrested 21 persons for their involvement in stealing petroleum products while they were on the way to different depots. Of the arrested, 16 were tanker entrepreneurs.

The tanker entrepreneurs used to steal diesel and hoard it in underground tanks built on the land belonging to Binod Upreti and Ramchandra Adhikary of Padasari in the district.

But the anti-market practice came to light after a police team seized 17,000 litres of diesel stolen from 19 tankers – leading to the arrest of 21 persons from Padasari and Madhabaliya on April 29 – from the underground tanks.

Acting on a tip-off that stolen diesel was being stored at the pumps owned by individuals, police came into action and arrested tanker drivers and helpers.

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