The Indonesian Police present suspects in illegal oil tapping case at Chevron Pacific Indonesia facility in Riau on Sunday. (Police Handout Photo)

Indonesian Police Uncover Oil Theft Ring Targeting Chevron Facility

BY :FAROUK ARNAZ

NOVEMBER 17, 2019

Jakarta. The Indonesian Police have uncovered a criminal ring who stole crude oil belonging to the state by pipeline tapping near a Chevron Pacific Indonesia refinery in Riau province, an officer said on Sunday.

At least eight men have been named suspects in the case, but two of them remained at large.

The ring vandalized Chevron’s pipelines to illegally tap and divert the oil for their personal gains, Riau Police chief Insp. Gen. Agung Setya said.

They bought a house near the Chevron facility for Rp 50 million ($3,552) and began drilling holes in underground pipelines before tapping the oil, he said.

“They diverted the oil through their pipelines in a tunnel,” Agung said. The stolen crude oil was taken to Palembang, South Sumatra, and Padang, West Sumatra for further processing before being sold at the black market, he said.

The police have seized two tanker trucks used to distribute the stolen oil.

“The stolen oil belongs to the state. The crime inflicts double losses to the government, who loses its oil while it must continue paying the oil processing fees to the company,” Agung said, adding that Chevron managed about 25 percent of the government’s crude oil.

The suspects included two businessmen: Jhoni Hendriyanto who funded the illegal tapping and Kokcin who bought the stolen oil, he said. Other suspects’ roles are varied from underground tapping and distribution to security arrangement.

The Riau Police have been investigating the case since Oct. 27, Agung said, adding that throughout the year, police have uncovered 94 oil theft cases in the oil-rich province.

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