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CBI: Rs 28 cr scam in WCL

Anti-Corruption wing of Central Bureau of Investigation, Nagpur branch, has registered a case against some officials of National Co-opera
tive Consumer Federation (NCCF), Western Coalfields Limited and a private nodal agency after stumbling across a major coal scam involving around Rs 28 crore.

CBI sleuths also conducted simultaneous searches at Mumbai, Nagpur and Akola on Monday in connection with the scam. The concerned officials of WCL and NCCF, in connivance with the private agency, had sold off subsidized coal meant for small scale industries in open market at a higher price. The coal was released under a policy provide cheaper coal to small scale industries needing up to 500 tonnes per annum.

Shiv Sena MP from Ramtek Prakash Jadhav had brought the corrupt practice to the notice of CBI. CBI, which registered the case under relevant sections of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy, has been probing the matter for sometime.

The scamsters in WCL and NCCF set up fictitious companies to create forged proof of supply of subsidised coal over a period of time. Several companies, which do not fit the criteria of small scale industry, also received coals.

The practice continued from beginning of 2005 to end of 2007. It is learnt that racketeers siphoned off almost Rs 78 lakh per month in these three years. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials, who have tentatively calculated the loss, claimed that the exact amount of scam will be known only at the end of investigations.

WCL, the Nagpur-based subsidiary of Coal India limited, was supposed to supply around 40,000 tonnes of coal through NCCF to the SSIs per month. NCCF appointed a private agency to co-ordinate the supply to the consumers. A monitoring committee was also appointed to maintain a check on the disbursement of the coal as per the policy.

Offices and residences of several officials of NCCF and WCL were scanned by the sleuths to recover crucial information and evidence.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is already learnt to have come across clues and mention of several officials of different ranks whose roles are now under scanner. Residence of an accused in Mumbai, NCCF office at Akola, and office of their appointed agency at Dhantoli and the WCL office at Civil lines.



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