The Civil Supplies CID wing officials on Monday seized five tonnes of rice at Palladam.
Eleven persons, including three employees of Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation were arrested. Five other persons, who were allegedly involved in the case, managed to give a slip to the officials.
The lorry used for the transportation of the rice from Madurai to Walayar in Kerala was taken into the custody by the officials.
Inspector of Civil Supplies CID wing V. Balamurugan told The Hindu that the rice was being transported from one of the storage yards of the corporation at Thirumangalam, near Madurai.
The lorry was intercepted near Palladam after receiving a tip-off.
“The questioning of Mohammed Ibrahim (23), the driver of the lorry and one of the accused, revealed the involvement of the other ten persons. Of the other arrested, Muthu Durai, Sundara Pandian, and Karuppasamy are staff of the corporation.
Pandi Murugan, Sundarapandi, Alagappan, M. Alagar, Jayabal, Annadurai and Balamurugan are head load workers at the storage yard at Thirumangalam, said Mr. Balamurugan.
The arrests were made under the Essential Commodities Act.
Mr. Balamurgan said that the five persons at large included the owner of the lorry, two merchants who purchased the rice from the Thirumangalam yard, a Kerala-based trader who was to purchase the rice, and one more staff of the corporation.