Raid busts racket diverting nearly 20 quintals PDS wheat in Mumbai | Mumbai News


Raids at a Dahisar godown on Monday revealed 15-20 quintals of wheat and rice being unloaded. About 10 quintal…Read More

MUMBAI: In one of the biggest raids during the lockdown, more than 15 to 20 quintals of wheat and rice being unloaded at a godown in Dahisar on Monday were seized. About 10 quintals of the material were in sacks with the logo of the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
“It seems that the FCI had sent the wheat to be distributed to the public under the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) at cheap rates to ration card holders,” said an official. Mumbai crime branch unit 12 has arrested the truck driver and three casual labourers, who were unloading the wheat from the gunny bags.
It is suspected the racketeers were removing the wheat from the FCI bags to sell it to a chain of grocery stores in various malls. The racket comes at a time when governments are scrambling to provide cheap or free rations to migrant workers and the poor who are battling hunger pangs.
The crime branch claims the rationing department has not responded despite an alert. “We raided the godown, and as the scam attracts punishment under the essential commodities Act, we wanted the ration department to lodge the complaint. But they have not responded in 24 hours and are passing the buck,” said a crime branch official.
Kailash Pagare, director, civil supplies, said the police did not inform the rationing department about the raids. None of their officers was present during the raid or when the panchnama was prepared. “We are ready to file the FIR. We have asked for the panchnama and once it is made available and we confirm the foodgrains were for the public distribution, we will file the FIR,” he said.
(With inputs from Clara Lewis)

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