Cyberabad SOT busts major banned seed racket, seizes 1.44 tons of illegal cotton seeds

In two separate cases, police arrested seven people for their involvement in a fake seed racket.

Cyberabad SOT busts major banned seed racket, seizes 1.44 tons of illegal cotton seeds

HYDERABAD: In a significant crackdown on the illegal seed trade, the Special Operations Team (SOT) of Cyberabad, in collaboration with the Agricultural Department, Genome Valley PS, and Shankarpally PS, unearthed an organised racket involved in the transportation and sale of banned BG-III/HT cotton seeds. The operation resulted in the seizure of 1.44 tons of these illegal seeds, valued at Rs. 36 lakhs, and the arrest of four individuals.

Acting on specific intelligence, SOT teams from Medchal and Rajendranagar, along with other officials, conducted coordinated raids and apprehended four suspects. The illegal activities involved smuggling banned seeds to gullible farmers, who were unaware of the prohibitions imposed by the government of Telangana.

Police arrested Pulikonda Yashwanth Kumar, 32, a driver from Mancherial district, Telangana. He was caught transporting 1.2 tons (1,200 kg) of banned BG-III/HT cotton seeds in a Mahindra Bolero vehicle. The seeds, valued at Rs. 30 lakhs, were being smuggled under the direction of Suresh Yadav, who remains at large. The investigation revealed that Yashwanth Kumar was paid Rs. 40,000 per trip to transport the seeds from Sindhanur, Raichur district, Karnataka, to Mancherial.

Suresh Yadav and an unidentified supplier from Karnataka were implicated in the case. The supplier had loaded the seeds onto Kumar’s vehicle after taking it to an undisclosed location. The illegal operation had been ongoing for several years, with the seeds being sold to unsuspecting farmers.

In another case, three persons were arrested for possessing 240 kg of banned BG-III/HT cotton seeds valued at Rs. 6 lakhs. They have been identified as Borra Shiva Shankar Rao, 63, a farmer from Velmula; Ashireddygari Srinivas Reddy, 47, a businessman from Yelwerthy village, Shankarpally; and Madamanchi Uday Kiran, 28, a farmer from Fatehpur, Shankarpally. The seeds were sourced from Srinivas Rao of Kurnool district, who is also absconding.

The SOT teams seized 1.44 tons of banned seeds, 240 kg of which were found with the latter three suspects. Additional items seized included cash, a keypad phone, and the Mahindra Bolero used for transportation.

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