Civil Supplies CID, Chennai unit, arrested 10 persons including a major offender and seized a huge quantity of rice meant for free distribution under public distribution system (PDS) in Koyambedu.
The main suspect Christopher, 54, a native of Kovilpatti in Thoothukudi district, was operating from Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Vellore districts, the police said. He has more than 20 cases against him for smuggling rice.
Another suspect Pattani alias Gurusamy, 53, procured rice from ration cardholders and sold it to migrant labourers working in the TNHB apartments in Koyambedu.
Gurusamay, along with Christopher and his associates, had stocked 34 bags of rice near the garbage separation yard in Koyambedu.
The Civil Supplies CID also arrested eight other associates and produced them before a metropolitan magistrate court in Egmore.
All the 10 suspects were lodged in Central Prison, Puzhal.
The gang sourced PDS rice from various outlets and stocked it for smuggling to Andhra Pradesh.
Police also seized vehicles used by the suspects.