(Judicial Quest News Network)
Hyderabad Feb 21, (JQNN): The Central Bureau of Investigation is today conducting searches under operation Kanak-II at around 50 locations including Mansa, Hoshiarpur, Mukerian, Roopnagar, Patiala, Sirhind, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mohali, Moga, Firozpur, Ludhiana, Sangrur etc. (all in Punjab) & UT of Chandigarh at the premises of FCI officials, private Rice Millers and Grain Merchants in an on-going investigation of a case. Incriminating documents and digital devices have so far been recovered during searches. The operation was launched to break the nexus of channelized corruption in FCI involving officials of FCI, private Rice Millers & Grain Merchants.
Further investigation, including the scrutiny of documents, interrogation of arrested accused, statement of witnesses, examination of persons acquainted with facts of the case and analysis of technical data had allegedly revealed that FCI officials, private Rice Millers and Grain Merchants were part of a well-organized syndicate and the recipients of huge bribe amounts collected during the process of procurement in FCI.
Today’s ‘Operation Kanak-II is also a part of the effort to ascertain the quantum & scale of ongoing corruption in FCI and to unearth the sequence of larger conspiracy amongst the inter-connected participants.
A case was earlier registered on 10.01.2023 against 74 accused including serving & retired officials of FCI, private persons and other entities etc. It was alleged that huge amount of bribe was paid to FCI officials for extending favours to the private operators. It was further alleged that 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. It was also alleged that the officials in conspiracy with rice millers cover up the shortages in stocks and accept low quality foodgrains which are transported to other parts of the country. The rice millers in turn allegedly pay a huge amount of bribe to the officials of FCI including Technical Assistants, DGM, AGM, and even Executive Director, as part of channelized corruption.
Earlier, a massive operation under the name of ‘Operation Kanak’ was conducted in January, 2023 against the unholy nexus of channelized corruption adopted by FCI officials, private Rice Millers and Grain Merchants by way of paying undue gratification to certain officials of FCI for getting undue favours.
CBI earlier arrested DGM (Quality Control/Personnel) RO, Chandigarh; a Proprietor of firm based at Kharar (Punjab) and a Manager (Lab), FCI, DO, Chandigarh. During searches at around 99 locations, Rs. 1.03 crore (approx.), FDRs to the extent of over Rs. 3 crore (approx.), documents related to various properties, incriminating documents & digital devices etc. were recovered.