Tuticorin | In a filmy-style incident, sleuths of Civil Supplies Crime Investigation Department (CS-CID) police confiscated a mini-lorry ferrying four tones of rice meant for Public Distribution System (PDS) to Kerala, after a hot chase at Chathirapatti four-lane near Kovilpatti today.
Acting on a tip off, a special team led by CS-CID Superintendent of Police P Swaminathan bust an inter-state rice smuggling racket. However, another team headed by Vanasundar, Inspector of Police, while on vehicle check at Chathirapatti check post signalled the driver of an approaching mini-lorry to stop in the wee hours.
But, the driver, defying the police order, drove the vehicle speedily. Nearly an hour after the chase, the occupants of the lorry jumped out of the vehicle, as a tyre busted and and rolled into the near-by jungle.
The cops found 140 bags of PDS rice weighing four tonnes in the lorry. To evade police check, the smugglers had kept bags containing Brinjal and other vegetables on the rice bags. The vegetable were in a rotten condition, police said.
This is the major seizure of PDS rice in the recent times in this region and preliminary investigations revealed that the rice was being smuggled to Kerala from Madurai via Kovilpatti. The CSCID police will enforce strict vigil, particularly during nights to prevent rice smuggling, police said.
A detailed investigation was under way to ascertain the whereabouts of PDS rice and those involved in smuggling.
The smugglers used to procure rice supplied free of cost to the public by government of Tamil Nadu through PDS system at a nominal price and after polishing the rice, they smuggled it to Kerala, where it fetches good price.
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