Belekeri iron ore scam: Karwar MLA in CBI net

A day after the Kampli MLA T H Suresh Babu was arrested in connection with the multi-crore iron ore export scam by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the agency on Friday took into custody Karwar MLA Satish Sail.

Sources in the CBI said Sail, an Independent MLA, was taken into custody after he was summoned for questioning here and, that he would be produced before a magistrate on Saturday.

The CBI, which is probing the illegal export of iron ore from Belekeri port near Karwar between 2009 and May 2010, has said in its FIR and charge sheet that Mallikarjuna Shipping Company owned by Sail had exported 7.23 lakh metric tonnes of iron ore during the same period. According to the agency, a total of 88.06 lakh metric tonnes was exported during the said time, of which only about 30 lakh metric tonnes had the MDP (mineral dispatch permit), while the remaining ore was exported illegally. Of the illegally exported iron ore, Mallikarjuna Shipping Company had  allegedly exported 7.23 lakh metric tonne. This has been allegedly exported without valid permits from the department of Mines and Geology and the department of Forest and also without payment of the royalty and forest development tax.

Earlier this month, Sail had said that he has cooperated with the CBI and expressed confidence in the judiciary. He had reiterated that he would continue to cooperate. Suresh Babu’s company is facing charges of having illegally transported a substantial portion of the 9.86 lakh metric tonnes of iron ore exported through the Belekeri port between January 2009 and May 31, 2010. The CBI special court remanded him in the CBI custody till Sept 27.

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