Assam cops unearth foodgrain scam

1 lakh rice bags of Shillong FCI seized from private godown

SHILLONG, June 11: The Assam Police have unearthed a massive foodgrain scam involving Meghalaya by seizing one lakh bags of rice of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Shillong from a private godown in Assam’s Boko.
The authorities in Meghalaya, however, expressed ignorance about it.
The seizure was made by Boko police after locals had reported the suspicious movement of 13 trucks in the area. Following interrogation of the driver and the co-driver of one truck, the police raided the godown of Maruti Quality Products Pvt Ltd (MQPPL), a company tied up with Nestle multinational food company. The godown is owned by one Deepak Agarwal.
The police found that the FCI rice was repacked by MQPPL into East Sunrise brand, which is a part of Continental Milkose India Ltd and supplied to Assam Rifles. As per details provided by the Assam Police, FCI Shillong division had sent the rice under a wheat-based nutrition programme and National Food Security Act, 2013 through the Directorate of Social Welfare, Meghalaya.
Deputy Chief Minister and Minister in-charge of Food and Civil Supplies, Prestone Tynsong told The Shillong Times that he was unaware of the seizure.
“No, I am not aware,” Tynsong said.
He said if he had known it, he would have tried to find out the truth. He also said that neither the Assam Police nor the FCI has informed the Meghalaya government of the matter.
“Since it is related to the FCI, we cannot say anything. We are getting whatever is entitled to us. It seems to be their (FCI) internal problem and it has nothing to do with the Food and Civil Supplies department,” he added.
Calls made to Social Welfare Minister, Kyrmen Shylla and FCI General Manager, PN Singh went unattended.
A top government official denied any scam saying that if such a huge quantity of FCI rice had been diverted elsewhere, there would have been a shortfall in the state but nothing of that sort has been reported.
Boko police station officer in-charge, Sanjit Kumar Roy told The Shillong Times on Friday that a case in connection with the incident has been filed suo motu by the police and investigation is on.
Seven employees of the Chhaygaon-based Maruti Udyog Products Pvt Ltd have been arrested, he said.

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