₹1.55 crore scam unearthed, 1.1K rice bags meant for poor families seized - Hindustan Times
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1.55 crore scam unearthed, 1.1K rice bags meant for poor families seized

By, Chandigarh
Jun 21, 2024 10:37 PM IST

Punjab VB uncovers ₹1.55 crore rice scam in Maur Mandi, Bathinda. Three arrested, including mill owner and truck drivers. Investigation ongoing.

Unearthing a “scam” amounting to 1.55 crore, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) raided a warehouse, seized two trucks laden with 1,138 bags of rice and arrested three persons in Maur Mandi, Bathinda, its spokesperson said on Friday. Among those arrested are Gopal Goyal, owner of Shiv Shakti Rice Mill, Garhshankar, Hoshiarpur, along with two truck drivers Jagpal Singh and Sukhwinder Singh.

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau says it call officials of a warehouse in Maur Mandi and those of Food Corporation of India for questioning to ascertain if they have any role in the rice scam. (Picture only for representational purpose)
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau says it call officials of a warehouse in Maur Mandi and those of Food Corporation of India for questioning to ascertain if they have any role in the rice scam. (Picture only for representational purpose)

The spokesperson said officials of Global Warehouse in Maur Mandi and those of Food Corporation of India would be called for questioning to ascertain if they have any role in the scam.

According to him, under the Bharat Brand Scheme being run by the Centre, about 70,000 metric tonnes of rice were being distributed by the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India in Bathinda, Bhucho, Maur, Rampura Phul and Budhlada to poor families, costing about 130 crore.

Out of this, about 1,000 metric tonnes has to be distributed at 18.5 per kg after filling it in bags weighing 5 kg and 10 kg. The tender for supplying this rice to the beneficiaries at the rate of 29 per kg in Bathinda district was awarded to Jai Janedar firm.

The VB spokesperson said the agency got information that an attempt was being made to embezzle rice worth 3.4 crore following which two trucks loaded with 1,138 rice bags, which were to be sent to Fatehabad, Haryana, were impounded. The firm neither cleaned the rice nor filled it in bags as mandated as its motive was to sell it illegally, the VB informed.

During the probe, it was also found that the aforementioned firm wanted to sell it for 34 per kg.

According to the spokesperson, the owners of Jai Janedar firm procured rice from Global Warehouse (Soma Warehouse) in Maur Mandi in connivance with staff of the warehouse through a broker, Harish Kumar, and unknown officials of the Food Corporation of India.

After allegedly paying the bribe, the rice bags were shifted to Anjani Rice Mill, Kuttiwal Kalan, Maur Mandi, from where these were to be taken to Shiv Shakti Rice Mill, Garhshankar, Hoshiarpur.

The VB police station, Bathinda, has registered a case against Harish Dalal, owner of the Jai Janeder firm; Shiv Shakti Rice Mill (Garhshankar) owner Gopal Goyal who also owns Anjani Rice Mill in Kuttiwal Kalan, Maur Mandi, Bathinda, and two truck drivers under Prevention of Corruption Act. Further investigation is underway, the spokesperson added.

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