CBI arrests another officer of FCI, recovers Rs 20 lakh

THE CBI arrested another officer of Food Corporation of India (FCI), Chandigarh, and recovered Rs 20 lakh during searches conducted at various locations in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh on Friday.

The arrested FCI officer was identified as Satish Verma, a divisional manager attached with a laboratory which passes and fails the grain samples.

On January 10, the CBI had recovered around Rs 80 lakh from the premises of more than eight FCI officials at many places.

Sources said that Verma was arrested following the interrogation of earlier arrested Deputy General Manager (DGM), FCI, Rajiv Kumar Mishra and Ravinder Singh Khaira, owner of a private firm. The two were arrested on January 10. They are in six-day police custody.

Verma was produced in the special court of CBI, Chandigarh, and remanded in three-day police custody.

Three accused were arrested during the ongoing Operation Kanak, which is being monitored by the CBI officials in Delhi.

Earlier, the CBI had recovered Rs 80 lakh from the premises of accused, including an executive director at New Delhi, Sudeep Singh; Technical Assistant (TA), Fatehgarh Sahib, Nishant Barria; AG-1, FSD Sunam, Manpreet Singh; TA, Sirhind, Navneet Kaur; TA, Dappar, Navpreet Kaur; and Manager (Lab), Chandigarh, Satish Verma. Several incriminating documents and digital devices were recovered too.

“The arrest of two FCI officers and one private person is part of ‘Operation Kanak’, which has been going on for the last six months to identify the corrupt practices of FCI officials.

Earlier, a case was registered against at least 74 FCI officials, including 34 serving, three retired from FCI, 17 private persons and other entities etc. It was alleged that a huge amount of bribe was paid to FCI officials for extending favours to the private nexus operators,” a CBI spokesperson said.

It was alleged that private rice millers and grain merchants were paying bribes to FCI officials for getting favours in accommodating procurement of low-quality food grains, malpractices in day-to-day operations in unloading of foodgrains, managing inquiries against various malpractices, etc.

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