Petrol Bunk Chip Scam is a Cyber Crime

Police in Lucknow have raided several Petrol Bunks in Lucknow who were using a Chip inside the dispensing unit to dispense less petrol for every litre dispensed and systematically siphon off about 50 ml for every litre of petrol.

This is similar to a fraud discovered some time back in Bangalore where Auto meters were tampered with a Chip which made the meters run faster than they should.

In fact Chinese are known to master the “Manchurian Chip” fraud where by they insert chips inside computers for the purpose of creating a backdoor. This has been confirmed earlier by Scotland yard in POS machines where credit card information was being stolen and forwarded to China from UK.

Refer this Article of 2008

Both these cases are clearly “Tampering with a Computer device” and amount to a cyber crime under Section 66 of ITA 2000/8 besides other sections of IPC.

So far it appears that Police are hunting only for the person who fitted the Chip in the bunk. They need to actually arrest the Petrol Bunk owners who are the financial beneficiaries of the fraud.

It is possible that some of them might have removed the chip by this time. However, if the petrol purchase and sale quantities are audited and reconciled over a period, it is possible to observe if the total sale is more than the petrol purchased by the bunk and this should be sufficient to book the owners for a criminal offence both under ITA 2000/8 and also under the Income Tax act for suppression of income.

Hope Police will act in this direction.


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About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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