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Syndicates stealing grains from Government depots

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POWERFUL syndicates of black marketers are stealing grains from the government's storage depots in the capital and elsewhere with support from some food department officials. They are so powerful that even MPs cannot take their rice or wheat supplies for emergency relief distribution from the food department's storage depots unless parts of the shipments were left behind for these groups. It happens with all the supplies for Open Market Sale as well as the ration supplies for the Bangladesh Ansar and Village Defence Party and possibly with the other forces. This hideous crime has recently been exposed by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), when their mobile court seized two trucks immediately after they left the Food Department's Central Storage Deport at Tejgaon carrying 30 tonnes of rice in 1,000 sacks, each containing 30 kg, for emergency relief distribution among victims of flood at Shyampur in the capital.

Selecting 70 sacks on random basis, the RAB mobile court found that each sack contained rice ranging from 12 to 20 kg. People behind these are so powerful that they take cuts from emergency relief supplies intended to be distributed among disaster affected people, found in a recent investigation by RAB. RAB officials have disclosed the way of their crime. The pilferage starts right inside the storage depots of the government by illegally opening the sacks. The rice and wheat sacks are then weighed in tampered scales for delivery to the recipients. The delivery documents are manipulated at the 3rd stage and in the 4th and final stage pilfered rice and wheat are filled in new sacks and sold in the black market. The black marketers' syndicates follow a complicated but almost foolproof method of operation. Food officers ignored repeated requests of lawmaker, over phone to ensure that no rice was taken out from his shipments.

RAB has sent its investigation report to the Anti-Corruption Commission for action. Their investigation found the involvement of at least two food inspectors, four sub inspectors, and the CSD head guard. A CSD manager said that they blacklisted 21 food handlers and suspended a food inspector and two sub-inspectors in connection with the incident. The suspended officials include two granary in-charges and weighing bridge scale in charge. Other suspects are also under scrutiny.

The Anti-Corruption Commission however on Wednesday said that it began investigations into the allegations of pilferage of food grains by syndicates comprising of government officials, dealers and hoarders.

All these corruptions are happening in large scale everywhere because there is no accountability at any level of the government functionaries. The government itself is too busy in self-praise and looking for ways to remain in power at whatever costs that may be needed.

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