Panaji, Nov 16 (IANS): The Crime Branch of Goa Police on Tuesday arrested 5 persons for allegedly stealing rice and wheat from Civil Supply Department's godown for smuggling in Karnataka, officials said.
Two other accused persons are absconding, the police said.
The police have seized 761 rice bags and 253 bags containing wheat in this connection.
The raids were conducted at three locations, including Fair Price Shop, in Ponda Taluka of South Goa.
Police has said that the accused persons were smuggling rice bags and wheat bags stolen from Civil Supply godowns from Goa.
The arrested individuals have been identified Hazrat Sayyed, Vinay Kumar Gudimani, Prakash Korishetter, Tausif Mulla and Ramkumar.
Accused persons Sachin Naik and Virendra Mardholkar are absconding.
According to police, Prakash Korrishetter was supposed to take the wheat and rice to Belgavi in Karnataka.
In this connection, three different cases were registered under section 380 r/w 120 B, 130 B and 120 IPC.
In the backdrop of various raids conducted by the Crime Branch, Civil Supply Minister Ravi Naik said his department is not responsible if beneficiaries sell rice and wheat to outsiders.
"I am not aware if someone has sold it to Karnataka. We are not responsible if anyone (beneficiary) purchases rice and wheat from Fair Price Shop and then sells it to outsiders. We take care that it (stealing) should not happen in our godowns and at FPS," Naik said.