Officials from the Salem Food Cell arrested two persons for allegedly trying to illegally transport ration rice from Kaliyanur Karatankadu near Pallipalayam shortly after midnight on Thursday. Pallipalayam Police said that the accused were held shortly before they made an attempt to illegally transport the four tonnes of ration rice that they collected over a period of time. Police said the accused C. Allimuthu (60), of Periyar Nagar near Bhavani, and his accomplice R. Kumar (55), of Kaliyanur Karatankadu, were riding a moped when Police and Food Cell officials were conducting a joint vehicle inspection. On investigating the duo admitted they were smuggling rice. “Based on information given by them we seized four tons of smuggled ration rice that was neatly packed in 80 bags – each weighing 50 kilograms – and were safely hidden in a public toilet near a canal at Kaliyanur Karatankadu,” police said and added that the goods were safe there as renovation works were underway in that toilet. They quoted the accused that they bought the rice from beneficiaries of the government's free rice scheme. According to them Allimuthu, was a serial offender who was already arrested for smuggling rice. The arrested persons, the rice and two mopeds used by the accused were seized and handed over to Food Cell personnel.