VELLORE: In a joint operation, the police personnel attached with the Vaniyambadi taluk station and the Civil Supplies-CID, Vellore, arrested a 50-year-old man for procuring and stocking over seven tonnes of PDS rice, to smuggle them to neighbouring States during the late hours of Tuesday.
Acting on a tip-off, a team led by Inspector of Vaniyambadi Taluk Station T Kamaraj and Civil Supplies CID T Selvam and subordinates conducted a raid in one the houses of D Sankar, a resident of Nethaji Nagar in Vaniyambadi Town, in Eriminnur village on the outskirts of Vaniyambadi town.
The police team found 148 bags of PDS rice, totally weighting 7.1 tonnes, stocked behind the house during the late hour raid on Tuesday.
After seizing the huge haul of PDS rice, the police picked Sankar for interrogation. On inquiry, he told police that he had been procuring the rice from the consumers of Public Distribution System and stocking it in one of his houses in Eriminnur. He had been selling the rice to hotel owners and rice mills in Kuppam area. The tight security arrangements and frequent vehicle checks by the TN and AP police personnel along the border areas had sealed the conduit of the illegal business.
“For the last five months, the stock had piled up as he was not able to carry out his illegal activity due to tight security along the TN-AP border areas. His customers had also stopped coming to buy the rice fearing arrest and legal actions against their establishments,” said Inspector of Civil Supplies of Food Cell, Vellore, D Ashok. Though Sankar had been indulging in this illegal business for more than a year, this is the first time he was arrested.
The Civil Supplies police registered a case against Sankar under the provisions of Tamil Nadu Scheduled Commodities (Regulation of Distribution by Card System) Order 1982 and Essential Commodities Act 1955.
The seized PDS rice was handed over to the godown of the Civil Supplies in Ambur. Sankar was remanded to the Vellore Central Prison for Men.