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NCP MP's nephew under CBI lens in tuna fish scam

Source: PTI
June 28, 2022 14:13 IST
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The Central Bureau of Investigation is likely to register an FIR against Abdul Razaq, nephew of a Lok Sabha member, and others in connection with the alleged swindling of public money in the purchase of tuna fish from a Lakshadweep cooperative by a Sri Lankan company represented by him, officials said on Tuesday.

The CBI had collected documents during its joint surprise check with the vigilance department of the Union territory islands during which it found incriminating documents related to the scam, they said.

 

A team of 25 officers under a DIG-rank officer had camped in the islands to carry out checks, during which it emerged that public representatives and public servants colluded with each other to facilitate the export of tuna fish, carrying an average international price of Rs 400 per kg, procured from local fishermen through LCMF, to a Colombo-based company named SRT General Merchants which was represented by Razaq, the officials said.

The role of local Nationalist Congress Party member of Parliament Mohammed Faizal, Razaq's uncle, may also come under the scanner of the CBI, they said.

"It was also alleged that a relative of the public representative of the Lakshadweep under whose influence LCMF procured tuna fish and later exported the said to a foreign-based company is the representative of the company," an official said.

The agency has found that the clearance for the export of the fish was allegedly given under the influence of a political representative and public officials without following requisite tendering process and other formalities, the officials said.

It is alleged that no payments were made by SRT General Merchants to LCMF, resulting in a huge revenue loss to LCMF and local fishermen, they said.

The CBI is scrutinising the records collected during the check and is likely to turn it into a regular case by filing an FIR under the Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy, cheating and prevention of corruption act, the officials said.

Once CBI registers an FIR, it can conduct searches, call for evidence, question the accused and the witnesses, the steps which are not available with it during the searches, they said.

Joint surprise checks only allow the CBI to collect documents and other information from an office on receipt of a complaint of alleged mass scale irregularity.

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