CBI conducts raids in FCI corruption case

In a latest development in connection with the crackdown on officials of state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday conducted raids at more than 30 places.

Some of the places where the raids are underway are Rajpura, Patiala, Sarhind, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mohali, Sonam, Moga, Firozapur, Ludhiana and Sangrur.

CBI sources have said that premises belonging to FCI officials, private rice millers and grain merchants are being raided.

On January 13, the probe agency had arrested Satish Verma, the Chandigarh-based lab owner.

Three days prior, the CBI had arrested FCI DGM Rajeev Kumar Mishra when he was about to receive a bribe of Rs 50, 000 from Ravinder Singh Khera, the owner of a private firm in Punjab.

Last month, a case was registered against 74 accused, including 34 serving and three retired officials of FCI, 17 private persons and other entities.

“Huge amount of bribe was paid to FCI officials for extending favours to the private nexus operators. Private rice millers and grain merchants were paying bribes to FCI officials for getting favours in accommodating procurement of low quality foodgrains, malpractices in day-to-day operations in unloading of foodgrains, managing enquiries against various malpractices, etc, ” a CBI official had said.

The officials in conspiracy with rice millers cover up the shortages in stocks and accepted low quality foodgrains which are transported to other parts of the country.

The rice millers in turn allegedly paid a huge amount of bribe to the officials of FCI as part of channelised corruption.