Anand Sharma to give detailed reply in RS

Scrap Scam

 
Responding to the issue raised by BJP member Venkaiah Naidu, the minister said the government has taken serious note of the massive scam and has asked the ministry officials to get all details immediately. “As soon as I get the details, I would come back to the House and reply,” Sharma assured the House.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Naidu said that Spices Trading Corporation Ltd (STCL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the State Trading Corporation of India, has been duped by two Bangalore-based companies —The Future Metals Pvt Ltd and Future EXIM (India) Pvt Ltd — said they defrauded and misappropriated around Rs 1,249 crore.

Flashing the July 16 edition of Deccan Herald, which had carried the alleged fraud, Naidu said that the newspaper carried a series of detailed stories about the fraud which caused huge losses to the government-owned companies and involved violation of FEMA.

Misappropriation

STCL bankers had issued letters of credit in favour of three foreign companies, namely Asia Metals and Commodities Pvt Ltd based in Singapore, Al Mustaqbal Metals FZC, based in Dubai and American Metal Management Inc based in New Jersey. They had an agreement with these companies for shipment of scrap nickel and scrap copper, he alleged.

The average price of nickel scrap was valued at US $16,804 per tonne and the corresponding price of copper scrap was pegged at US $6,614. The letters of credit were issued in favour of three sellers for 249.57 million dollars on the basis of this valuation.

The two Bangalore-based companies also identified three overseas buyers of the consignment shipped by the three sellers. They were Sino-Asia Pacific (Hong Kong), Haoweilai Jinsu and Haoweilai Jinsu (HK) Ltd in Hong Kong. Two international surveyors, one on behalf of the STCL certified the contents before they were shipped. On certification of the arrival of the contents, the bankers released 249.57 million dollars in favour of the three sellers, he said.

However, the STCL did not receive the remittances from the buyers, though the two Bangalore-based companies were required to facilitate the payment. When the suspicion arose, the STCL got five containers opened and, to their shock, found the contents were scrap iron and not nickel or copper.

Under the court’s directions more containers were opened and it was found that all of them contained only scrap iron and these goods would not fetch more than 4.58 million dollars, Naidu said.

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