In a surprise check at a private building in Cumbum in Theni district on Wednesday morning, Agriculture Department officials seized fake pesticides and some chemical sprays worth Rs.10 lakh.
Following a complaint from a farmer in Theni district, Director of Agriculture M. Rajendran formed two special teams headed by Joint Director (Agriculture) Jayasingh Gnanadurai from Madurai and Deputy Director Saba Natesan from Chennai to conduct checks at a specific place.
The teams went to a building in Naatukal Theru, Cumbum, and interrogated the suspected fake pesticide distributor. The man, Gubendran (29), feigned ignorance.
Then the officials found a room locked on the first floor of the building.
On opening it, they found a huge stock of labels used on the micro-nutrient packs, containers in different sizes with some chemical compound.
According to the confession given by Gubendran, the chemical compound was supplied by a fake pesticide manufacturer in Sellur, Madurai.
The team led by Mr.Gnanadurai had raided a godown in Madurai last month and seized huge quantities of fake pesticides.
The officials said Gubendran had been supplying fake pesticides to dealers in Kerala and southern districts of Tamil Nadu for over five years.
The products, which included nitro-benzine, amino acid and neem oil, were repackaged on his premises in containers and packs, and labels giving addresses in Chennai and other cities were pasted on them.
The fake pesticides were supplied to the vegetable cultivators in this region, who complained to the officials that the pests could not be controlled by using the pesticide.
When the officials informed Theni Collector Palaniswamy of the development, he asked the police to register a case and arrest Gubendran immediately.
He also instructed local officials to conduct surprise checks.