Fraud by remote control at Hanoi gas stations

By Vuong Duc Anh   March 15, 2016 | 09:00 pm PT
Police have uncovered a scam cheating customers by manipulating gas pump meters.
Officers checking one of the fuel dispensers near Tran Khat Chan street.

The scam came to light after a number of local residents accused two petrol stations of fraud. Hanoi police, with the aid of the city’s Market Management Department team, conducted an inspection of the stations owned by the Hanoi Petrol Fuel Joint Stock Company.

Inspectors found illegal integrated circuits installed in all six gas pumps at both stations. Staff at the stations were allegedly able to use a remote control to manipulate how much fuel actually flowed from the pumps. 

The inspectors arrived at the scene as employees were busy selling fuel, and one clerk was caught red-handed using the device, according to one officer on the inspection team.

“To see how the scam worked, we tried to pump 20 liters of gas, however, the dispenser gave out only 19 liters”, he said.

Authorities have already confiscated the circuits and suspended operations at the two stations.

The Market Management Department and Hanoi Economic Security Department conducted a four month investigation before launching the raid.

Those involved in the scam may face criminal charges, one officer said.

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