PDS scam busted: 7 dealers and SIM card seller in police net
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PDS scam busted: 7 dealers and SIM card seller in police net

The cops also arrested a businessman selling these SIM cards, along with seven public distribution system (PDS) dealers from different parts of the city.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2018 14:17 IST
Debashish Sarkar
Debashish Sarkar
Jamshedpur
PDS scam,dealers,SIM card
Jamshedpur,Jharkhand,INDIA, December 30:Jamshedpur SSP Anoop Birthare with the arrested persons as he claimed to have busted PDS scam racket embezzling food-grain by generating OTP using fake SIM cards in Jamshedpur on Sunday December 30,2018 -(Photo by Manoj Kumar/Hindustan Times)(MANOJ KUMAR/HT PHOTO)

East Singhbhum police on Sunday claimed to have busted a racket that misappropriated grain meant for the poor and sold it in the black market. They did this by generating onetime-passwords (OTPs), using SIM cards issued on fake IDs and Aadhaar cards, police said here.

The cops also arrested a businessman selling these SIM cards, along with seven public distribution system (PDS) dealers from different parts of the city.

“We got information of SIM cards being issued on the basis of fake Aadhaar cards and other documents by some dubious SIM promoters. These [SIM cards] were being handed to criminals and PDS dealers for all kinds of fraud and criminal activities,” said Anoop Birthare, Jamshedpur senior superintendent of police, speaking to the media here on Sunday evening.

He added, “A team led by the city SP arrested Sachin Das on charges of selling fake SIMs. Subsequent raids led to the arrest of seven PDS dealers allegedly using these SIMs to generate OTPs and misappropriate grains.”

EYE ON FRAUD

Jharkhand food and supply minister Saryu Rai said that his department has been regularly checking such fraud and reports were sought from all the deputy commissioners (DCs) earlier, too. “Hence, this can’t be possible happening on a large scale,” said the minister.

State food supply secretary Amitabh Kaushal said over the phone that he sought a detailed report from East Singhbhum DC Amit Kumar on the police findings. “I am also asking the DC to conduct physical verification of all cardholders through OTP at such PDS shops where abnormally high OTP transactions ANOOP BIRTHARE, Jamshedpur senior superintendent of police have been noticed,” he said.

Referring to the arrested SIM seller, SSP Birthare said, “Das confessed that he used to collect Aadhaar and other documents from gullible rural people and issued SIM cards on the basis of such documents. He said that he sold these SIMs to criminals and PDS dealers for ₹120 each. He also said that PDS dealers used these SIMs to link ration cardholders and generated OTPs to misappropriate grains, which was then sold in black market.”

City SP Prabhat Kumar said that subsequent raids at seven PDS shops under Sonari, Jugsalai, Sitaramdera police stations and Olidih outpost led to the seizure of hundreds of SIMs and arrest of the PDS dealers: Rohit Gupta in Sonari; Md Monahir, Md Mudassar and Md Tanveer in Jugsalai; Suresh Ravidas in Bagbera; Ashok Chakravorty in Sitaramdera; and Rajendra Prasad in Olidih.

Police claimed to have seized over 150 such SIM cards, e-POS machines and dozens of mobile phones during the raids. People in the know said that every one of the PDS dealers on an average kept 25-50 fake ration cards with them.

First Published: Dec 31, 2018 14:17 IST