Bellampally police on Thursday busted a thriving inter-State coal mafia racket by nabbing 13 of the 21 accused and seizing 13 lorries, one car and Rs. 66 lakh in cash and 4 tolas of gold. The gang of coal smugglers sold 620 lorry loads of coal, worth Rs. 7 crore in open market, stolen from the Singareni coal mines in Bellampally area between June and December last year.

In a meticulously executed operation, the police led by Bellampally Additional Superintendent of Police Bhaskar Bhushan and DSP K. Eshwar Rao detected the crime. They found that as many as seven criminals formed a gang to steal coal by forging false invoices. They sold as many as 550 loads of coal stolen from Dorli Open cast Mine-II to Orient Cement Factory at Devapur at cheaper rates with the help of Koneru Prasad Babu, Dilip Agarwal and Agrawal Srinivas.

Producing the accused and the seizures at a press conference at Madaram, Mr. Bhushan said the accused sold about 100 lorry loads of stolen coal to Vayunandan power plant at Gadchiroli in Maharashtra with the help of Gangireddy Srinivas following suspension of purchase of stolen coal by the Devapur cement factory. The Additional SP said a case has been lodged at Tiryani police station and further investigation into the illegal operation is on. Tiryani SI Mohan, Tandur SI Ajay Babu and Madaram SI Kumaraswamy were also present.

The accused produced before the media were identified as - Mittapally Shankar, Puramshetti Shankar, Kyatam Ravi, Kontham ramesh, Pesari Naresh, Kalavala Kumaraswamy, Dadi Shankar, Gangula Devaiah, Milkuri Sudhakar, Katakam Rahesjwar Rao, Naredla Jayakrishna Reddy, Avadhesh Kumar Singh and Gangireddy Srinivas.