10 persons arrested for ‘stealing’ manganese ore from VPT yard

Kingpin Yellayyamma has 29 criminal cases against her, say police

The crime wing of the city police arrested 10 persons, including a woman, who is said to be the kingpin, for allegedly stealing 250 tonnes of manganese ore from a yard belonging to the Visakhapatnam Port Trust here on Tuesday. The stolen ore is said to be worth around ₹35 lakh.

According to Deputy Commissioner of police (Crime) V. Suresh Babu, the case was taken up after Synergy Shipping Private limited had lodged a complaint on September 24 stating that 250 tonnes of manganese ore was missing from the stockpile.

The main kingpin have been identified as Challapalli Yellayyamma (38) wife of Appanna, a resident of Kobbarithota. ACP (Crime) Ch. Penta Rao, who led a 15-member team to crack the case, said that Yellayyamma has around 29 criminal cases pending and she is a habitual offender and have committed several such thefts of cargoes from the VPT yards, in the past.

Abhijeet Ferro Alloys had imported around 3,645 tonnes of manganese ore on June 26, and had appointed Synergy shipping to handle the cargo. The shipping company had appointed Ravus Security and Housekeeping Agents to provide security at L-17 yard of VPT, where the cargo was stocked.

After moving the cargo from the yard to the factory, when the final stock taking was done by Abhijeet Ferro Alloys, it was found that 250 tonnes of ore was missing from the leftover stock of 695 tonnes.

“A complaint was filed and we took up the case. Based on CC TV footage and other evidences, we came to understand the cargo was moved by Yellayyamma and her gang by using three trucks supplied by one Abdul Rehaman, who is one of the arrested,” said Mr. Penta Rao. The cargo was stolen on three different dates and the trucks had made seven trips. One of the arrested Goriki Durga Rao, who worked as security guard at the yard, played a key role in helping Yellayyamma in stealing the ore. He reportedly took ₹10,000 for each load, said the ACP.

The stolen cargo was transported Bobbili in Vizianagaram district, where it was unloaded in an open space.

Except for the driver of one of the trucks, who is absconding, all the other 10, involved in the case have been arrested and the cargo has been retrieved, said Harbour Police Station Inspector M. Avataram, who also led the team with the ACP.

The two trucks/ tippers and one loader used to load the cargo have also been seized.

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