Jamshedpur, July 29: Police today busted a racket of transporters and thieves by raiding an unauthorised iron depot in Devghar village, about 25km from here.
Six truckloads of iron and steel products, estimated to be worth over Rs 35 lakh, were seized from the depot along NH-33. Five people have been arrested.
The two-hour operation was carried out by inspector-general of police (zonal) Ashok Kumar. The local police were not aware of the raid until the operation was halfway through.
Besides iron ingots, police have confiscated some four-wheelers, including a Scorpio. Two drivers and three cleaners of trucks engaged in the iron pilferage have been arrested. The key accused, including the transporters, managed to escape.
Speaking to The Telegraph, the zonal inspector-general said they were tipped-off that pilfered iron and steel products belonging to Tata Steel were being cut in large amounts at the depot along the national highway.
The stolen goods are then sold in Calcutta and other places. Kumar said he got the information last night and immediately assembled a team to raid the place.
“By morning we had busted the racket and made the arrests,” said Kumar, hinting that a number of Tata Steel officials and police officers are involved in the racket.
He, however, refused to comment on why he had to come from Ranchi for the raid when the superintendent of police, Jamshedpur, could have been put on the job.
After the IG left, senior officers from the district police launched fresh raids at Devghar and Belajhuri villages, anticipating more seizure.
Deputy superintendent of police (city) Madhusudan Bari said the police are yet to establish the modus operandi of the racketeers. But after interrogating those in custody, he added, they are likely to get more information.
On June 26, such a racket was busted by officials of Tata Steel security department when they confiscated two truckloads of iron and steel materials.