Several rice exporters from India have been camping in Dubai for the past few days to get justice in an audacious Dh15.38 million scam that has left them baffled and devastated at the same time.
The traders did not get any positive news in the case so far. Vipin Goel, the managing director of Kamla Rice and General Mills in Karnal, Haryana said, “What is at stake here are not some small packets but nearly 250 rice shipping containers measuring 20 X 8 feet each. Put end to end they could occupy a football field.”
“So many shipping containers can’t disappear from a warehouse just like that,” Goel stated. They don’t just have the containers but also the owner and the entire staff of Dubai’s Al Rawnaq Al Thahbhi General Trading which ordered around 6,000 tonnes of rice from 20 odd exporters in India between March and April this year.
If calculated, the amount of 6,000 tonnes of rice can feed the UAE’s entire population of 9.68 million for almost five days. The scam was so cleverly planned that no one could suspect anything.
The traders got a Telegraphic Transfer (TT) receipt against every shipment as ‘proof’ that their payments were being electronically remitted to their banks in India. The money never arrived. When the traders came to know about the scam and rushed to Dubai it was too late.
“We visited Al Rawnaq Al Thahbhi’s office, checked its trade license, met its general manager and, more importantly, released the shipments only after we had received telex transfer (TT) receipts from a money exchange in Dubai confirming the acceptance of the remittance request and the initiation of the transaction,” recalls Vinod Goel of Karnal’s NM Food Impex company. He exported 22 containers of Basmati rice worth $321,170 — around $7,000 less than Kamla Mills’ Vipin who dispatched 17 containers.