CBI probes Rs 780-cr iron-ore transportation scam

CBI probes Rs 780-cr iron-ore transportation scam

Official sources said the alleged irregularities were carried out in connivance with certain senior officials of South Eastern Railway (SER) for wrongfully transporting the goods from its Chakradharpur division which were exported through Haldia Port in West Bengal.

An initial investigation conducted by the Railways revealed that the company caused huge revenue loss to it by making false or misleading declaration about the end use of the iron ore lifted from mining sources.

It detected that certain industrial units were transporting iron-ore through the Chakradharpur Division of SER declaring the material was for domestic consumption or internal use.

"Actually the iron ore was being exported through Haldia Port. The investigations initially revealed a loss of revenue of about Rs 50 crore for a period of nine months in the year 2010 by a private company," a source said without divulging the name of the company.

Later, the scope of investigations was widened to cover three years from 2008-09 to 2010-11. "The recoverable amount worked out by the Railways in mis-declaration of goods is Rs 749.50 crore," he said.

Officials have got evidence of similar modus operandi being opted by other companies active in mining activities in Jharkhand and Orissa and they are now being separately investigated.

The case was referred to the CBI for an in-depth probe by the Central Vigilance Commission. "The scam is huge and there is a possibility of involvement of certain railways officials who colluded with certain mining firm owners," the official said.