The godown was stocked with 2,220 gunny bags of rice, each weighing 50 kgs
NAVI MUMBAI: The Panvel city police and revenue officials raided a ration godown at Palaspe in Panvel on Friday and seized Rs 33 lakhs worth 110 tonnes of rice meant for the Public Distribution System which was smuggled from Solapur and hoarded for selling in black market. However, the police is yet to arrest the accused involved in the racket.
Senior inspector Ajay Landge said, “Acting on a tip-off, on Friday, the raid was conducted on Palak Ration godown in Tech Care Logistics at Palaspe. The godown was stocked with 2,220 gunny bags of rice, each weighing 50 kgs, which were printed as Food Corporation of India, Asian Rice, Government of Punjab, and Government of Haryana. The rice was actually meant for free distribution under Public Distribution System to the poor and needy with ration cards during Covid pandemic. But it was smuggled in four container from Solapur and kept at the godown in Palaspe for selling in blackmarket.”
He said, “When we raided the godown at Palaspe, there were only workers. Hence, the accused could not be arrested. Upon inquiry, we have identified the accused as Bhimashankar Kade, who had supplied the PDS rice consignment from Solapur, Iqbal Kazi who is the godown owner and Laxman Patel, his accomplice. While, one Lakhan Patel who had ordered the rice consignment from Khade is the kingpin.
The accused have been booked under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and Maharashtra Scheduled Commodities Wholesaler Dealers Licensing Order, 1998. The four identified accused have been arrested in the past for similar offenses. While, in 2001, an FIR is registered against Khade at Bhoiwada police for cheating and criminal breach of trust.”