370 tons of imported rice missing from Meherpur warehouse ?

Published : 14 Aug 2023 09:44 PM

370 tons of imported rice worth Tk 10 crore has allegedly been disappeared from the Meherpur government food warehouse. 

The warehouse official and Meherpur Deputy Commissioner however denied the allegation and claimed that the quantity of rice in the warehouse remain okay but imported rice was mistakenly supplied instead of locally produced Aman rice from the warehouse.

Khulna Divisional Food Controller Office instructed Kushtia District Food Controller to investigate and report on the incident. A three-member investigation team has also been formed by the Meherpur district administration. The investigation committee of Kushtia district visited the spot on Thursday (August 10) but the results of their investigation are not known yet.

According to multiple sources, District Food Controller (DC Food) Mohammad Rezaul Islam and District Food Warehouse Officer Kazi Imran Hossain colluded and sold imported rice to local buyers.

On the condition of anonymity, a food warehouse official said that 370 tons of imported rice is stored in paper, but there is not even a drop of that rice in the warehouse. 

According to the sources, officially the imported demand order (DO) rice supposed to be distributed among union councils, social organisations and religious institutions. 

But locally produced and collected rice distributed against that imported DO rice. And District Food Controller (DC Food) Mohammad Rezaul Islam and District Food Warehouse Officer Kazi Imran Hossain allegedly sold the imported rice to some local businessmen.The district Food Control Officer allegedly provides imported high quality rice to local businessmen in exchange of financial benefits. 

According to a rice trader, the price of all types of rice stored in the warehouse, is Tk 28,000 per ton. But the imported high-quality rice cost Tk 10,000 more per ton. 

And some rice traders buy these imported DO rice from the warehouse illegally and makes profit of about 10,000 taka per ton.

Denying the allegations, warehouse officer Kazi Imran Hossain said that someone is spreading false propaganda against him. Regional, Divisional and Dhaka Investigation Committee found exact amount of rice in the warehouse. 

“Imported rice disappeared for supplying local imported rice against various Dos mistakenly,” he claimed.

Meherpur Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shamim Hasan said, “The three-member investigation committee found certain amount of rice in the warehouse. But the stored rice is locally produced Aman rice”

“The warehouse officer mistakenly supplied imported rice instead of supplying Aman rice against various DOs from the warehouse. But the amount of rice is correct.” The deputy commissioner claimed.

However, the investigation committee at the initiative of the departmental, regional and local district administration did not find the whereabouts of the imported rice in the food warehouse.

Meherpur Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Kazi Najib Hasan, head of the investigation committee of the district administration, was not available for comment on the investigation as he was in training.

However, two other members of the committee expressed their inability to talk about the investigation.