CBI files 22 cases against firms in ore export scam

Fifty individuals have been named in the FIRs

CBI files 22 cases against firms in ore export scam

The CBI has registered 22 cases against companies allegedly involved in the illegal export of 21 lakh tonnes of iron ore without valid permits from the Belekeri port in Uttara Kannada district.

“In the 22 FIRs, 15 companies, six partnership firms and two proprietary concerns are named. A total of 50 individuals have been identified in the FIRs, other than officials of the Mines and Geology department and Forest department who would be identified only during investigation,” the CBI said in a statement.

The action follows the direction of the Supreme Court, the CBI said.

The agency has booked these persons for cheating, forgery; under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and for violation of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, and under Section 24 of the Karnataka Forest Act, 1963
“The mining of iron ore without permit, including such mining in forest land in Bellary, and connected trading and export of iron ore are already under the investigation of CBI,” it said.

It said that the Central Empowered Committee had, in September 2012, apprised the apex court that there were similar irregularities in extraction of 50.79 lakh tonnes from the forest areas of Karnataka between 2009 and 2010.

Following the directives of the Supreme Court, the agency conducted a preliminary inquiry and registered 22 cases against those who have exported above 50,000 tonnes of iron ore, while cases of 39 others who exported below 50,000 tonnes have been referred to the State government. 

Illegal export of iron ore from Belekeri port was exposed by former Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde who had, in his report, said 7.74 million tonnes of iron ore were illegally exported between 2006-2007 and 2010-11.

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