Six months after five cases of paddy fraud were registered in the district, owners of two more rice mills have been booked for allegedly misappropriating paddy worth more than Rs. 18 crore. Some employees of the Punjab Agro Food Grains Corporation Limited (PAFGCL) are also facing action in this case.
The millers, against whom cases have been registered include Manoj Jain of Dashmesh Nagar of Moga, owner of Mahandev Agro Foods at Kokri Kalan village in the district, and Ashish Bansal of Heera Bagh, Jagraon, in Ludhiana, who is owner of Mahanvir Agro Foods at Ajitwal village. However, no arrest has been made so far.
District police officials said the millers had allegedly embezzled paddy, which was stored in their mills at Kokri Kalan and Ajitwal villages in the district.
Police sources disclosed that the PAFGCL had allotted more than 2.5 lakh bags containing 89,000-quintal paddy to Mahandev Agro Foods of Kokri Kalan for custom milling on behalf of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), but the mill allegedly deposited only 36,960-quintal rice after milling with the department.
Ved Parkash Sharma, incharge of Moga Economic Offences Wing (EOW), said that during the departmental checking conducted on April 24, it was found that 1,48,151 bags of paddy worth Rs. 10.53 crore were missing. It was also found that 315 bags were also missing from the mill.
“On the other hand, during checking on the same day, PAFGCL officials found that 34,520 quintal paddy was also missing from Mahanvir Agro Foods at Ajitwal, that amounted to more than Rs. 7.70 crore,” said a police official.
After completing the departmental inquiry, senior PAFGCL officials lodged two complaints with the police alleging that the department had found that Mahandev Agro Foods of Kokri Kalan and Mahanvir Agro Foods of Ajitwal had allegedly failed to account for the total paddy provided for custom milling.