BJP sees huge scam in Malaysian sand import, seeks ED probe

MSIL, CMO officials involved in racket: Shettar
Last Updated 23 January 2018, 19:34 IST

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar on Tuesday said that a major scam has taken place in importing of sand from Malaysia and selling it in 50-kg bags.

Speaking to reporters here, Shettar said Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL) has given contract to a bogus company through tender to import sand worth over Rs 5,000 crore.

"Prima facie, Poseidon FZE is a bogus company as it gave the address and phone numbers of other companies. Poseidon FZE was registered in the UAE only after the tender process began. Moreover, the MSIL gave the tender to this company which has no experience in this field, that too without the Cabinet approval."

Releasing some documents with regard to the issue, he said MSIL decided to import 180 lakh tonnes of sand from Malaysia in five years, and floated the tenders on May 24, 2017. In September, a tender with Rs 2,300 price per tonne of sand was given to Poseidon FZE, which was registered only in June. To help this bogus company, tender conditions were also changed by MSIL officials, unauthorisedly.

The company gave documents of EMD at Axios Credit Bank in Singapore, but this bank has no branch in Singapore. Import-export rules were violated even while fixing the quality control agency and a big scam has taken place in this Rs 5,000-crore transaction, he charged.

MSIL managing director Prakash and general manager Mahaveer are running this racket. Prakash and IAS officers in the chief minister's office (CMO) are directly involved in the illegal procurement of sand," he alleged.

 "I will bring this issue to the notice of the Union Government and also raise it in the coming session of the legislature. As it is an international crime and officials of MSIL and CMO are involved, it should be probed by Enforcement Directorate or the CBI with the co-operation of Central Customs Department, Registrar of Companies and other agencies," he demanded.

Tamil Nadu has imported the same Malaysian sand at Rs 925 per tonne. Karnataka government was paying Rs 2300 for a tonne along with Rs 1,100 to package it in bags. A total of Rs 3400 is being paid per tonne, Shettar stated.

(Published 23 January 2018, 17:44 IST)

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