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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Cashew crime .. .. !!

Do you know  what this is ? ! ? 

Decades ago ! there were few claims worth lakhs of Rupees (big amount those days) – on cargo exported to Malaysia from Chennai on board ship - attributed to shortage of  cargo –noticed at destination.   

·         The claimants attributed the shortage to theft, calling it a peril and claimed insurance under Policy coverage being on ICC (A) terms

·         Consignments being laden on FCL/ FCL containers – insurers wanted the losses to be established

·         Claimants submitted FIR – lodged at Port area PS stating that there had been loss and most likely someone had stolen from containers

·         Later it was observed that the Indian exporter who had taken insurance coverage had sold them on ‘FOB Madras’ terms – with their obligation ceasing on placing containers across ship’s rails – the policy coverage also did not extend beyond, it was argued

·         In a quirk turn of events (afterthought !) – Police officials arrested two drivers in a lane near Port – in connection with the crime

·         They made confession that they had delayed the transit of container from the loading point – to entry in to the port

·         Took the container on a deviant route and colluded with some in skillfully tampering container seal and stealing contents

·         They deposited a meager amount in the Court stating that they possessed only this value now and had luxuriously spent couple of days with the ill-gotten money !!

·         It was a consignment of ‘Cashew nuts’ .. .. …


Cashew nut is a delicious popular snack – its rich flavour is liked by many and often eaten raw, roasted, lightly salted, sugared or covered in chocolate.  It is a great accompaniment for  tea,  soft drinks and hard drinks.   It is also very commonly used in Indian cuisine, lavishly used in dishes like Pongal, sweet payasam, kesari and more.  Can you imagine that they add cashew nut with brinjal and make a special  veg dish (vankai kaju) in Andhra !  The nut can be used whole for garnishing sweets or curries, or ground into a paste that forms a base of sauces for curries  or some sweets.   There is also a popular country liquor in Goa known as Fenny or Feni, which is made from the juice of cashew apple.    


Cashew  is a tree in the family Anacardiaceae; it derives its name from the Portuguese name for the fruit of the cashew tree, caju [it is kaju in Telegu also].  The cashew-nut tree is a fast grower and an evergreen tropical tree. It grows to a height of 12 m. Blossoming takes place between November and January. Seedling trees flower in the third year after planting. The fruit ripens fully within 2 months.  The nut is attached to the lower portion of the cashew apple which is conically shaped. The cashew nut (seed) hangs at the bottom of the apple, and is c-shaped.   The cashew seed has within the outside shell the edible kernel or nut.  Cashew apples and cashew nuts are excellent sources of nutrition. The cashew apple contains five times more vitamin C than an orange and contains more calcium, iron and vitamin B1 than other fruit such as citrus, avocados and bananas.  Cashew shell oil extracted from the shells is caustic and causes burns on the skin. 

Not a post on agriculture or cookery but on a crime .. .. .. Police arrested seven men, including in Namakkal district on Friday night for robbing a container truck carrying 12 tonne of cashew nuts, worth Rs 1.1 crore. The arrest  reportedly was made at Thimmanayakan Patti near Rasipuram by the Namakkal district police in coordination with the Tuticorin Police. 

According to police, the container truck carrying cashew nuts meant to be exported to Japan - was going to the Tuticorin port from a cashew factory at Thuckalay in Kanyakumari district. Driver Hari was waylaid on the Tirunelveli - Tuticorin National Highway by an unidentified gang when the truck was near Pudukottai in Tuticorin district. The gang members threatened him at knifepoint and drove away the container truck. Hari informed the manager of the firm, who in turn lodged a complaint in the Pudukottai police on Friday morning. Special teams were formed to track the truck and nab the miscreants. The miscreants damaged the GPS devise in the truck, making the chase challenging. Learning that the truck had headed to Namakkal district, the Tuticorin district police alerted their counterparts there, who traced the vehicle and nabbed the accused. 

Gnanaraj Jebasingh, 38, and his 6  accomplices were arrested and  quizzed by the local police. They were handed over to a special team from Tuticorin district. The Tuticorin police arrested the accused and took possession of a car used by the accused. Incidentally, the first accused is the son of Mr ST Chellapandian, a former Minister of Labour in Tamil Nadu cabinet (2011-2016). He lost the election to DMK’s P Geetha Jeevan in 2016. 

Whether the cargo was insured and whether a claim had been lodged are not known.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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