VELLORE / TIRUVANNAMALAI: The sleuths of the CB-CID have launched an inquiry into the milk adulteration racket, which rattled the Diary Development Department in Chennai, Vellore and several other districts in the last few days.
Sources said a team has been formed to gather information from the Vellore-Tiruvannamalai Milk Production Cooperation Union and 16 other unions.
“A detailed report will be submitted within a week. The wing will initiate a formal inquiry into the racket, which surfaced two weeks ago,” said a police officer.
Acting on a tip-off, the police attached to the Vellimedupettai Station in Villupuram district conducted a discreet operation and caught eight persons—P Suresh of Mailam, K Ezhumalai of Tindivanam, M Sathiaraj and P Ramesh Babu of Tiruvannamalai and R Anbu, V Murugan and C Guna and V Suresh of Vellore— redhanded for stealing the milk and transporting it in a mini-van to sell it on the black market. The police busted the racket following the arrest of P Suresh of Mailam and seven others. They were arrested on August 19 on the charge of stealing and adulterating Aavin milk. “The villagers alerted the police that the gang was frequently engaging in such acts and stealing the milk and adulterating it for supply to Chennai,” said a police official. Also, the Aavin had suspended 12 officials attached to Ambattur and Madhavaram dairies for being hand-in-glove in this illegal activity.
“The gang took 1,800 litres of milk from the tanker-lorry, which was transporting the milk from Tiruvannamalai to Chennai, and added equal amount of water. The lorry belongs to Deepika Transports owned by one Radhika, whose husband allegedly enjoys political support,” said the source. The inquiry disclosed that Deepika Transports was operating around 25 tankers for the Vellore-Tiruvannamalai Milk Producers Cooperation Union. On an average, 1.80 lakh litres were being transported in a day from five Bulk Milk Coolers (BMC) and around 20 chilling centres attached to the union.
“Deepika Transports has taken the tender for transporting the milk to Chennai from Vellore and Tiruvannamalai in the last four years. The transport company had also taken the tender floated by other unions and was operating around 150 tankers for Aavin,” said the source.
The officials of ther CB-CID, Vellore unit, collected information about the number of trips and routes of the tankers, quality and quantity of milk transported to Chennai from various places.
“The team conducted a day-long inquiry and collected all material evidence from the officials here,” said an Aavin official in Vellore.