CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Vigilance Bureau Sunday arrested an absconding official of the District Food and Civil Supplies Controller (DFSC), Amritsar in connection with a Rs 40 crore paddy scam.
AP Singh had allegedly duped the state exchequer in connivance with other officials of the Food and Civil Supplies department and an Amritsar based rice mill owner, a spokesperson of the bureau said in an official release.
Nabbed by the bureau's Special Investigation Team (SIT) from Patiala, Singh had been evading arrest for nearly a year, the official added.
An FIR under various provisions of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act was registered at Police Station Jandiala Guru, Amritsar district last year. The vigilance bureau had taken over the investigation from Amritsar district police last year.
"Some co-accused in the scam including DFSC officer Raminder Singh Bath, assistant food and civil supplies officer Vipan Sharma and food inspector Gurjinder Singh have already been arrested by the bureau while some are still absconding," he said.
The investigation so far has brought forth incriminating evidence against the suspects who failed to perform their duties.
"A huge quantity of government paddy worth crores of rupees was found misappropriated from the rice mill in Jandiala, allegedly by its owner," he said.
The spokesperson further said that it would seek remand of the accused DFSC official from the court to investigate his modus operandi. Last year, over 2.50 lakh bags of paddy were found to be missing from a rice mill in Amritsar during an inquiry by Punjab's Food and Civil Supplies Department.
At that time, the local department officials had allegedly kept the higher authorities in the dark about the missing stock.