Ration black market racket is huge, say police after busting exclusive godown for smuggled produce

Representational Image| Photo: Mathrubhumi Archives

Kozhikode: The police have arrested people who had set up a special godown in the Valiyangadi market in Kozhikode to store the rice and wheat smuggled from the ration shops. The commodities are smuggled from ration shops using scooters and autorickshaws. Later, these goods are sent to the mills in the neighbouring districts for making rice powder and wheat flour.

Earlier, 110 bags of rice and 73 bags of wheat were seized from a private company in Valiyangadi yesterday. Following this, a team led by Town CI C Anithakumari arrested C Nirmal, the manager of Zina Traders in Valiyangadi, Hussain, a shop assistant, and Appukuttan, a lorry driver, in connection with the incident while the accused were trying to send a load of rice to Valancherry.

According to police, large groups are operating in the district, and further investigation is needed. Rice is mainly procured from ration shops in coastal areas where the demand is low. Further, ration shopkeepers sell rice and wheat by falsifying the documents. This rice purchased at cheaper rates will be exported to other districts.

Currently, 30 kg per month of rice is free for yellow cardholders. 4 kg per is allowed to other cardholders. Since many of them do not buy rice, they are sold illegally in the open market. However, the data shows that they have bought all the allocations.

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