Truck with 25 tonnes of onion missing for a month, police launch manhunt
A wholesale vegetable dealer in Kochi has filed a complaint with the city police after his truck laden with onions - which are selling at over Rs 80 in most parts of the country - went missing.
In his complaint, Mohammad Siyad said he procured 25 tonne onion from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra and sent a truck to fetch it. He said usually it takes a week to reach the destination but there was no trace of it even after a month.
“When I called up the farmers’ co-operative society I was told it was sent on September 25. The truck driver’s phone was switched off. I suspect some foul play. Price was quite high at that time and currently it will be priced around Rs 50 lakh,” said Siyad. He said later the co-operative society sent a picture of the loading and other details.
During investigation, police found that the driver hailing from Aluva in Ernakulam was involved in some other cases, including spare parts theft. They suspect that load must have been sold in the black market and he might have pocketed a good amount. Since the driver was not using his mobile, it was difficult to trace him, said police, adding they sought help from their counterparts in the neighbouring states.
“We have started our investigation,” said a senior police officer of Ernakulam. He said the transport firm has also filed a complaint.
To check prices, Kerala had imported onions through the National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation last week. Two weeks back, one kg onion was priced at Rs 90-100 in the state but now it is between Rs 60 and 70. The government is planning to sell it for Rs 45 a kg through a public distribution system.