Iron smuggled out of Cochin Shipyard before PM’s June visit, says CBI
Kochi: A CBI report on alleged iron smuggling from Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) asserted that iron was illegally transported from here before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the shipyard. The CBI did not take any action at that time as it did not want to disrupt PM’s visit.
Modi reached Kochi for the inauguration of Kochi Metro on June 17. Though he had scheduled a programme at the shipyard, later it was cancelled due to technical reasons.
The CSL had given a tender to remove scraps from the compound ahead of the PM's visit. Iron worth crores of rupees was illegally trafficked from here under the tender.
A load of 321 iron materials was trafficked from the shipyard. The CBI has registered a case and Cochin Shipyard materials department assistant manager Ajith Kumar and contractor Muhammadali who took tender of the scraps were booked. CBI has raided houses and offices of the two accused yesterday.
CBI has seized a taurus lorry with the smuggled iron from Kundannur on June 12. CBI officials have found the vehicle, while the people in the lorry tried to cut iron rods using a gas cutter after parking the vehicle along the road. The lorry driver has told the police that the iron materials are taken from Alappuzha.
After inspecting the lorry, the officials recovered documents of Cochin Shipyard. It was reported that the iron was smuggled during July 7 to 12. No load was taken from the shipyard after CBI seized the vehicles. CBI officials have also recovered CCTV footage from here. CBI has raided eight places in connection with the case.
Though the officials raided the godown of the contractor, iron materials were not found. Meanwhile, CBI found that the smuggled iron was taken to a factory owned by the contractor in Palakkad.
According to CBI, lorries which crossed the Shipyard without a gate pass is a major security failure. CBI suspects involvement of more officials in the scam.