Thieves snatch 70 tonnes of coal right under Railway authority’s noses | Pakistan Today

Thieves snatch 70 tonnes of coal right under Railway authority’s noses

LAHORE: The automatic lock system of the bogey carrying tonnes of coal for the Sahiwal coal power project was changed to manual as part of the plan to steal onwards of 70 tonnes of coal, sources revealed.

22 tonnes of coal arriving from Karachi had been reported stolen near Bahawalpur on the Sahiwal-bound train. It has now come to surface that at least three times more coal may have been stolen than was initially reported. 12,000 tonnes of top-grade coal imported from South Africa were being transported for the mega-project, of which 70 tonnes the culprits made away with.

Sources revealed that the bogey could host up to 70 tonnes of coal and worked in such a way that its automatic unloading system can unload all its coal within 30 seconds. The culprits apparently changed the setting of bogey number 96329 to manual at port Qasim and changed it back to automatic where they had planned to unload the coal and run away with it. It was then made to appear as if the manual system had been on the entire time and the coal had steadily fallen out. The perpetrators included a number of railway employees in their scheme and tampered with the crime scene by spreading low-quality coal in the surrounding areas so as to throw-off the police.

Chinese engineers working on the project claimed that at least 22 tonnes of the high-grade coal had gone missing while railway authorities estimated the figure as being closer to the entire 70 tonnes contained in the bogey. Railway employees believe that at least 48 tonnes of low-quality coal may have been spread in the surrounding areas to make the intensity of the crime seem lower than reality.

A three-person investigative team including the Deputy mechanical Engineer and Coal Fret Transport director has been formed. The purpose of the team is to figure out whether any railway employees or drivers were involved in any malicious activity near Bahawalpur where the crime occurred.

Railway officials claimed that after inquiries were made, the masterminds behind this strange crime would soon be uncovered and surrendered to the hands of the law.

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