The Panvel City Police and revenue department officials have carried out a raid at a godown in Panvel on Friday and seized 110 tonnes of rice worth over Rs 33 lakh. The police also arrested three persons who smuggled the rice from Solapur. The rice was meant for distribution among poor people affected due to Covid pandemic.The arrested have been identified as Bhimashankar Khade, Iqbal Kazi and Laxman Patel. While Khade and Kazi are resident of Solapur, Patel is the owner of the godown.
Acting on a tip-off received from a reliable source, the Panvel City police raided Palak Ration godown at Tech Care Logistics at Palaspe in Panvel on Friday and found 2200 gunny bags of rice, each weighing 50 kg. Upon asking papers of the food grain, Khade and Kazi failed to show any proof, following which the police seized rice and sealed the godown.Later, the police learned that the rice was meant for public distribution systems in Solapur. However, it was smuggled in four containers from there and stocked at a godown in Palaspe for selling in the black market at a higher price.
The rice bags were printed as Food Corporation of India, Asin Rice, Government of Punjab and Government of Haryana. The total market value of seized rice is Rs 33.08 lakh. Ajaykumar Landge, senior police inspector from Panvel City Police station, said that the rice was meant to be distributed among needy poor people affected by the pandemic. However, they smuggled the rice to Navi Mumbai for selling in the market at a higher price.A case of cheating and criminal breach of trust was already registered against Khade at Bhoidwada policed station in 2001. A case was registered against them under the Essential Commodities Act.