Written by Staff Writer
18 Jan, 2019 | 9:23 pm
Colombo (News1st): The Petroleum Corporation Employees Union revealed that the China Bay Oil tanks have fallen into the grasp of thieves. A section of two of the Oil tanks owned by Lanka IOC had been removed and stolen.
The pipes supplying oil to the tanks as well as a number of other fixtures at the facility had been robbed. 10 suspects were arrested by the China Bay police on the 12th of this month.
Secretary of the Union D. J. Rajakaruna state that the loss caused by this incident is about Rs. 2 billion and they only have storage facilities to maintain a surplus of two weeks. He added that the country is currently in quite a dangerous situation, adding that this is a time that the country needs these oil tanks the most.
Rajakaruna noted that tanks located in the upper section of the compound had not been used by the IOC since 2003 and he also accused them of cutting off the pipe system for it to be sold off as scrap metal. He said there were large brass pipes removed from the tanks were shipped off to India and even though a complaint has been lodged no actions has yet been taken.
The trade union alleges that this oil storage facility is being destroyed due to the lapses in an agreement between Sri Lanka and an Indian corporation. The Secretary notes that there is no proper security provided to the location and was therefore vandalized by the thieves. He noted that police arrested many suspects on a number occasions but due to the lack of involvement from the IOC they haven’t been punished.
Rajakaruna stated that they have written to the Minister in charge about this adding that the IOC has proven that they cannot protect this national asset. He added that the petroleum corporation must take over the compound immediately and until then the petroleum corporation must be in charge of providing security to this facility.
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