Alexa Truck loaded with 40-ton onion missing

Dhaka, Monday   20 January 2020


Truck loaded with 40-ton onion missing

 International Desk

 Published: 05:19 PM, 29 November 2019  

File Photo

File Photo

A truck delivering 40 tons of onions worth $30,000 for an Indian trader was found totally emptied out in what police suspect was a brazen robbery amid skyrocketing prices for India’s staple food.

The vehicle, loaded with a whopping 40 tons of onions, set off from the state of Maharashtra to Uttar Pradesh in mid-November, but never reached its destination. It disappeared halfway to its intended customer last week and was found empty, deep in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday.

Police say the cargo – worth up to 2.2 million rupees (roughly $30,000) – could have been an outright bonanza for those who dared to steal it. One kilogram of onions is retailing at 100 rupees ($1.40) in most Indian states, often peaking at 120-130 rupees in major cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Chennai and Pune.

There were other onion thefts this week, however, these were not as grand as the one in Madhya Pradesh. On Thursday, five 50kg sacks of onions were stolen early in the morning from a Gujarat vegetable shop. In a similar incident, thieves targeted a market in West Bengal, walking off with bags full of onions, potatoes, garlic and ginger.

Skyrocketing prices for onions have become one of the major issues in India, with local politicians seizing on it. Some of them weren’t shy about sending a bold message to the government.

The price spikes have been blamed on unseasonal rainfall, which delayed the planting of the winter-sown crop across the country. Coping with the crisis, the Indian government vowed to extend a ban on onion exports and moved to import the bulb from neighboring countries.