Forest staff prevent illegal transportation of ore

Forest staff prevent illegal transportation of ore

Fake permits, documents created to shift consignment

Forest department seized iron ore being illegally transported in 57 bogies of a goods train at the Yeshwanthpur railway station, Sandur taluk, Bellary district on Wednesday. dh photo

Khaja, who had submitted the fake documents to the railway department to transport the ore, has been arrested. Three other accused, Mahabali, Dadu and Kage Manja, have escaped. A manhunt has been launched for their arrest. This is the first time that ore being transported through rail has been seized.

The documents were in the name of Bellary-based Gadagi Minerals Mining Company. Following definite information on the transportation of the ore with fake permits and documents, the forest staff raided the goods rail with 57 bogies and seized the ore.

The ore was loaded near Jeegenahalli village of Sandur taluk and fake documents were created for transporting the ore through Ankamanahalu. The fake permits had the signatures and seal of the officials of the department of mines and geology.

Officials have confirmed that Rs 33 crore had been paid to the Railways for transporting the ore. It was being transported to Cauvery Iron and Steel Company at Khajapura in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh, said forest officials.

The fake documents show that they have been issued by the mines and geology department, Hospet and are to be used between March 21 and April 20. Assistant Conservator of Forests G Venkatesh, Range Forest Officer Ramamurthy, Mallesh of the mines and geology department and others took part in the raid. It is said that Kage Manja of Yeshwanthpur was printing the fake permits. Mahesh of Sandur is said to be the kingpin of the racket.