An Egyptian company that had struck a deal with Jindal Steel to import 20 tonnes of steel blades was in for a rude shock when the consignment was finally delivered two months ago.
Instead of what they had ordered, they got around 20 tonnes of cheap quality salt in containers exported from Jindal Steel’s godown in Hissar two months ago. The Indian company was equally baffled when they were informed about it. Jindal Steel refused to comment on the issue when contacted.
The matter was brought to the notice of Gurgaon Police in December last year, but it was the Delhi police who unravelled the mystery on Tuesday with the arrest of two people.
The crime branch arrested Balwinder Singh, 45, and Manoj, 28, on charges of stealing the steel strips that was to |be exported to Egypt and filling the container with salt.
Police have recovered 38 drums, each containing 21 strips and 9 loose strips of steel blades and weighing around 18 tonnes from the accused. They said efforts were on to nab others involved in the case.
SBS Tyagi, DCP (crime), said the arrests came following investigations into a complaint filed by M/s Gateway Rail Greight Ltd, Gurgaon, which has a contract with Jindal Steel to transport their goods. The complaint was lodged on December 22 against the truck driver for misappropriation of the goods.
“They told the police that Mangal Singh was assigned to deliver the consignment on November 4 at inland container depot (ICD) Garhi Harsaru, Gurgaon. But all of approximately 19.79 tonne of goods was misappropriated by the driver with the help of Balvinder Singh,” Tyagi said.
He added the accused filled the container with salt to neutralise the weight of the container and subsequently delivered it at nland container depot Ghari Harsaru. The same container was then exported to Egypt.
During his interrogation, Balwinder Singh told the police that he stole the steel strips from the truck with the help of Mangal Singh and Rurdu Singh (helper) from Hissar.
“Balwinder Singh sold the stolen goods for Rs. 5 lakh to Manoj, who had stored them in a godown in Wazirabad,” he said.