TWO men have been arrested in connection with the theft of tens of thousands of litres of fuel from one of the country’s main underground oil pipes.

The men, aged 32 and 34, were apprehended in Salisbury last night and arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal fuel from Esso.

As reported by the Daily Echo, it comes after a major investigation was launched into what has been described as a “sophisticated” plot to siphon diesel - thought to involve more than 30,000 litres.

The Daily Echo understands that the fuel may have been extracted from a pipeline running from Esso Fawley Refinery.

That major pipe runs north by MOD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire and extends as far as Seisdon in Staffordshire and Birmingham International Airport.