ED arrests CSRMA Treasurer Roshan Chandrakar
   Date :17-May-2024

Roshan Chandrakar
Staff Reporter
Making further headway in their investigation into Custom Rice Milling special incentive scam, Enforcement Directorate Raipur Zonal Office (ED-RPZO) on Wednesday night arrested Roshan Chandrakar, Treasurer of Chhattisgarh State Rice Millers Association (CSRMA), another key accused in the con. The arrested accused was produced in the court of Special Judge PMLA, which granted 5-days custody of Roshan Chandrakar to ED, even as the federal agency pleaded the court for granting them 14-days custody. Earlier, the ED-RPZO had served 8 notices to Roshan Chandrakar under Section 50 of PMLA Act for questioning pertaining to the scam, but he failed to turn up on medical grounds. With this, the country’s top financial crimes agency has so far made two key arrests, wherein it had earlier on April 30th taken into custody Manoj Soni, former Managing Director, Chhattisgarh State Marketing Federation Limited (MARKFED). Soni was on deputation to Government of Chhattisgarh and remained posted as MD with apex level Federation of Cooperative Marketing Societies in the State of Chhattisgarh, from October 2022 to October 2023.
Soni during his tenure as MD MARKFED operated an unholy collection system of illegal kickbacks from the rice millers, in collusion with the mandarins of CSRMA. “Roshan Chandrakar was arrested under Section 19 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. The arrest was necessitated after Chandrarakar remained evasive from the investigators, who are trying to trace the trail of large amounts of payments made in cash out of the scam. Therefore, we had apprehensions that Chandrakar could have further concealed and alienated this hitherto unearthed Proceeds of Crime (PoC) derived from the scam. Also the ED during the searches at the premises of Manoj Soni found incriminating documents and digital evidence mentioning the name of Roshan Chandrakar, which needed to be thoroughly investigated and corroborated and thus he was arrested,” knowledgeable sources privy to the investigation told ‘The Hitavada.’ According to the sources, the CSRMA office-bearers under the leadership of their Treasurer Roshan Chandrakar and in collusion with Manoj Soni, MD MARKFEd, collected kickbacks amount of Rs 20 per instalment for each quintal of paddy milled from the rice millers. “The details of rice millers, who have paid the cash amounts, were sent by the district rice millers association to the concerned District Marketing Officer (DMO). The DMOs, upon receiving the bills of rice millers, cross checked them with the details received from the concerned district rice millers association; this information was then passed on to the head office of MARKFED.
The bills of only those rice millers who have paid cash amount to the association were cleared by MD, MARKFED for payment,” the sources elucidated on the modus-operandi of the scam. Sources further recalled that the ED-RPZO initiated investigation on the basis of disclosure of Prosecution Complaint filed by I-T Investigation Wing, Raipur wherein it was alleged that the CSRMA office bearers colluded with MARKFED and hatched a conspiracy to misuse the special incentive and earn kickback as in crore of rupees. Till Kharif year 2021-22, a special incentive of Rs 40 per quintal of paddy was paid by the Govt. of Chhattisgarh to the rice millers for custom milling of paddy and subsequently, it was exorbitantly increased to Rs 120 per quintal of paddy later which was paid in two instalments of Rs 60 each. “Our investigation revealed that after the hike in the special allowance from Rs 40 to Rs 120 quintal, payments were released worth Rs 500 Crore, generating kickbacks of Rs 175 crore which were collected by Roshan Chandrakar with active assistance of MD MARKFED, for the benefit of ‘higher powers’. During the twoday long search operations on multiple premises of ex-MD of MARKFED, CSRMA Treasurer and Office bearers, DMOs and few Rice Millers on November 20 and 21, incriminating documents, digital devices and unaccounted cash of Rs. 1.06 crore were found and seized,” the investigators recollected their line of investigation.