Ruttley fuel scam: more drivers implicated

<font color=red><b>RUTTLEY SCAM:</b></font> Police hunt three more owner-drivers implicated in $1.5 million fuel theft

October 13, 2009 | Samantha Freestone

Police are hunting three more owner-drivers they suspect are part of a massive $1.5 million fuel scam at Victorian fleet operator Ruttley's Freightlines.

Two of the men are driving in Queensland and have not been located, while a third is hiding from authorities.

Greg Teesdale, a prosecutor for the Altona Criminal Investigation Unit, confirms to ATN the hunt for more culprits, joining four men already charged over the theft conspiracy.

Teesdale believes the third driver is deliberately evading police.

"I’ve had police up at his house several times during the day and at night. We have left phone messages and he has not returned them," he says.

"We have all of the necessary evidence but at this stage can’t lock them down. As you understand a lot of them work as interstate truck drivers and as they work for themselves they are very hard to locate."

But Teesdale confirms arrests should be made in the coming weeks. He won't name the three men implicated over the weekend.

Fellow owner-driver Robb Morrison, one of four charged, is also at large after he failed to present at court last Thursday.

"He is avoiding us. I do not want to elaborate," Teesdale says.

Brett Smith, also charged with theft, will face court again on November 2, but it is expected his case will be adjourned until January 28 next year to be tried together with Morrison, Laurie Jones and Peter Howarth.

Police allege a complex scam between the men saw fuel cards used to steal $1.5 million in fuel.

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