Companies address fuel theft loophole

A loophole which allowed a petrol station owner to covertly steal thousands of dollars worth of fuel, has been closed.

Yesterday, the Otago Daily Times reported on Mohammed Rizwan Din Khan Hussain (28), of Auckland, who stole fuel from pumps at Pak 'n Save in South Dunedin and a Chevron-owned Caltex truck stop in Fryatt St.

He stole more than $77,000 in fuel which was used to supply Sawyers Bay Motors, which he bought in 2011.

Hussain used his inside knowledge of the pump's computer system - based on his former job servicing pumps - to bypass paying for fuel.

Chevron NZ general manager Dean Gilbert confirmed the Dunedin site was the only one targeted and ''it is the first and only instance that we are aware of a person doing this''.

''We shared the information with our contractors to highlight the fraudulent activity and identify the appropriate solution.''

Hussain never worked for the company, which had put in place controls to ''prevent further incidents such as this''.

''This was an isolated incident and we are confident we now have the appropriate controls in place to avoid any future fraudulent activity.''

Foodstuffs New Zealand group marketing general manager Steve Bayliss said the company was not aware of similar thefts at any of its other sites.

''The loophole has been well and truly closed,'' he said.

Hussain appeared in the Dunedin District Court on Tuesday on two theft charges and will be sentenced later this month.hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

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