Two held near Chennai for smuggling five tonnes of ration rice to AP

Police intercepted a goods carrier that had the bags of rice; one of the accused is employed at a ration shop

Officers of the Civil Supplies CID seized a goods carrier carrying 100 bags of rice meant for the public distribution system (PDS) on Saturday night, in Aladu village, near Ponneri, Tiruvallur district. Two people including a re-employed staff member were arrested for attempting to smuggle the rice to Andhra Pradesh.

Acting on a tip-off, a special team of police personnel led by Deputy Superintendent of Police, S. John Sundar conducted a search at a house in the village. The team intercepted a goods carrier which was about to go to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. As the vehicle was loaded with bags, the police grew suspicious and searched it. They found that the vehicle was loaded with 100 bags of PDS rice weighing 50 kg each.

Police seized five tonnes of rice from the duo — M. Dhamodharan, 61 of Tadaperumbakkam, and M. Selvaraj, 23 of Medhur from Ponneri Taluk. Dhamodharan had been re-employed at a ration shop in Pallavan Nagar after his retirement, and Selvaraj was driver-cum-owner of the goods carrier. They were remanded in judicial custody.

Police said the suspects diverted the rice meant for public distribution and stocked it at a house. The investigation revealed that they were also collecting PDS rice from the surrounding areas and selling it in Andhra Pradesh where the rice would be polished and sent back to the markets, said sources.

Last week, the Civil Supplies CID arrested a father-son duo who attempted to smuggle nine tonnes of PDS rice on boats to AP. The arrested accused were identified as R. Murthy, 53 and his son Rajkumar, 23 from Tada, Nellore district. They were found carrying the PDS rice on two wooden boats from Santhankuppam near Pulicat. Police have launched a manhunt to nab Prasanth, a fishermen, who is suspected to be the main suspect in the case.

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