DAEGU, June 22 (Korea Bizwire) – Oil theft in Korea is becoming more elaborate and highly organized.
Two Korean males, referred to only as Lee (50) and Kim (57), were sentenced to four and three years in prison, respectively, for robbery and violation of the oil pipeline maintenance law. Song (56), who also took part in the crimes, was also sentenced to two years in prison, with three years of probation.
The three men were accused of illicitly extracting fuel from the pipeline that passes through Gyeongju, a city in North Gyeongsang Province, and they had even built an underground bunker to avoid detection.
They extracted and sold gasoline and diesel fuel worth 2.8 billion won over a period of seven months, from April to November 2015. Prior to their crimes, they had purchased land some 200 meters away from the pipeline and built a gas station on top of it.
The men built eight storage tanks underneath the station that could store up to 50,000 liters of stolen oil. A 10-square-meter underground bunker, separate from the underground facility, contained fuel identification devices, oil pressure gauges, and oil drain valves, all concealed to hide the malevolent scheme.
The men punctured a hole in the pipeline and installed an oil drain valve, then attached a high-pressure hose all the way to their gas station. Late at night, they moved the stolen fuel to a tanker truck, and sold it to other stations and oil distributors.
The court judged, “The crime could have led to severe environmental pollution and large-scale accidents, and the perpetrators have distorted the oil market, all of which led the court to conclude that a stricter punishment is required.”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)