The person who the driver claimed was the owner of the rice has already served jail time last year for buying government rations from union chairpersons and members and selling them at markets
Police have arrested a pickup vanvan and seized a vehicle for reportedly stealing government rations meant for the Vulnerable group development (VGD) program in Habiganj.
When handed over to a mobile court, driver, Jaber Mia, was handed down a sentence of one month rigorous punishment.
The incident took place around 8pm Thursday at Nigmanondo Ashram road at Kakailcheo union of Azmeriganj upazila. Locals spotted a pickup van carrying what they thought to be VGD rice and apprehended the vehicle. They later informed the police and the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO).
When the food department official, UNO and police came to the spot, they found out that the person was taking off with 62 sacks of rice, each weighing 50kg, meant for the government’s VGD program. The driver was reportedly going to sell the ware in Habiganj. So that none can recognize, the rice was transferred from the sacks meant for the VGD program to others.
When questioned, the driver, Jaber Mia, said that the rice belonged to one Moshahid Mia of Shibpasha village of the upazila. Although police called him over the phone thrice to come and verify the incident, he didn’t show up.
Sources said that Moshahid, along with a ring of traffickers, reportedly buys government-rationed rice meant for the poor from union chairpersons and members and sells them off at the markets. A year ago, he served jail time after being caught trafficking 120 sacks of government-rationed rice.
Later, UNO and mobile court magistrate, Matiur Rahman Khan, sent the driver, Matiur, to jail for a month.
The stolen rice was meant for 2,329 poor families and women of five unions of the Shibpasha upazila.
UNO Matiur Rahman presume the rice was initially stolen from Kakailcheo union. The magistrate asked the union parishad secretary to file a report. After the report, an investigation will commence.
In 2020, a number of union chairpersons and members were suspended over “rice embezzlement.”