The CBI on Tuesday launched searches at 30 locations in Punjab as part of its probe into allegations of corruption against Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials who procured inferior grains to benefit merchants and rice millers, officials said. The CBI teams started coordinated raids at the premises of grain merchants, rice mill owners, and serving and retired officials of the FCI in multiple districts of Punjab, including Sirhind, Fatehpur Sahib and Monga, as part of ‘Operation Kanak 2’, they said.
This is second round of searches in the FIR pertaining to an organised syndicate of officers at the FCI, who allegedly charged bribes of Rs 1000-4000 per truck unloaded at the FCI godowns from private millers per crop season for covering up lower quality grains supplied by them and other favours.
The bribes were allegedly circulated to officers at every level reaching up to headquarters in a well defined percentage of cuts at each level, it alleged.
The FIR gave details of such bribe collection in many FCI depots across Punjab. Officials ranging from technical assistants to executive directors were allegedly part of a syndicate receiving bribes from private millers, they said.
”The bribe amount is collected at the depot level by FCI officials on a per truck basis being unloaded at the FCI depot during storage of grains. Thereafter this bribe amount is distributed to the different ranks of FCI,” the CBI has alleged.