In late March, five men were arrested by the French Police following the allegations that they had stolen nearly 100,000 litres of fuel from the gas stations in Paris. They have used sophisticated tactics for this campaign that includes utilizing a remote control device from the dark web and are believed to have operated for a number of months from 2017 to 2018. It has been found out that the fuel stealing has been done during the night when the gas stations were closed. They have not siphoned or broke into the reserve but rather preferred to use a remote controlled device to override the fuel station’s security. The remote control that has been used was acquired from the dark web by one of the group’s members. This has enabled them to change the settings of the station from automatic to manual but at the same time tampered with the accounting system so that any gas obtained from the reservoir during the night would not be charged.
The suspects have taken advantage of the fact that many of the gas station staffs have not changed their pin from the default pin ‘0000’ of the fuel pump. Furthermore, an investigator explained that the suspects would show up at the gas station in the groups of two or three and in separate cars within a range of few minutes. The first car would unlock the fuel pump utilizing the remote device while the second vehicle that is equipped with a large tank of volume 2,000 to 3,000 litres would fill it up with the stolen fuel. Much of the stolen fuel was sold to the customers at a rate 30% lower than the then market value. The discounted fuel was advertised on the social media having a specific location and time communicated for the customers to claim their orders.