Scammers turn to draining fuel tanks as gas prices soar
Until a few years ago, it was perhaps mobile phones that sought out the most stolen item on the streets of Karachi. However, the port city’s thieves and crooks have now turned to a new commodity that’s easier to steal and more valuable than ever: liquid gold in motorcycle fuel tanks.
Since petrol prices soared to Rs 235 per litre, fuel theft appears to have become increasingly common in the megacity, forcing citizens to install additional security to prevent the fuel tanks of their vehicles are not emptied.
“This [fuel theft] has become quite a nuisance now. You fill up your tank with your hard-earned cash, park your motorcycle outside a store or in a building, and come back to find it clean. It’s infuriating,” complained Syed Aamir Ali, a beleaguered citizen who has now resorted to filling his tank with just enough petrol to last a day. “Fuel is too expensive now, I can’t afford to be robbed,” he added.
According to Faraz, who is an auto mechanic at a local garage, the sale of motorcycle tank caps and gas locks has increased by 30% in the past two months, while the prices of locks have also doubled; from Rs350 and up to Rs600 each.
Sources at local gas pumps also reported a drop in gas sales to motorcyclists in the city, linking the trend to rising fuel prices and increased fuel theft. According to Tayyab, who works at a petrol station in Karachi, there has been an estimated 20-25% decline in petrol purchases among motorbike owners, many of whom have either reduced their motorized trips or purchased a minimum of fuel. gasoline on a daily basis. base. “Our regular customers have started to come in scarcer now. Most of them are wage earners or people from low income groups and they can no longer afford to buy fuel,” the employee said. from the service station.
Speaking in this regard, Shariq Tariq, a salesman in a private company, said that he now only uses his motorcycle for business purposes and that he has reduced motorized trips which were not quite required. “Until a few months ago, I would buy two liters of petrol for Rs 300 and cycle comfortably all day. Now the same amount of petrol costs me almost 500 rupees which I cannot afford. This city does not have a large public transport infrastructure, while rickshaws, taxis and chinchis have also increased their fares due to rising fuel prices. So now people like me have little choice but to run errands and reserve the motorized journeys for the most important things like work and emergencies,” the distressed citizen told The Express Grandstand.
Published in L’Express Tribune, June 22n/a2022.