CBI books Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal in tuna fish export scam case

CBI logo | Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday registered a case against Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faisal, his nephew and others over allegations of corruption and irregularities, including a purported scam in the export of Tuna fish to a Sri Lankan company.

Searches are underway at six places in Delhi, Calicut and Lakshadweep, said a senior CBI official to ANI.

He added that reliable information was received by CBI, relating to irregularities in the matter of procurement of Massmeen (Dry Tuna Fish) from fishermen of Lakshadweep island during the year 2016-2017 by giving false assurance of higher rate by the accused persons and exported the same through M/s. Lakshadweep Co-operative Marketing Federation Ltd.(LCMF) to Sri Lanka through a private agency; later the assured amount was not given to the fishermen by the LCMF.

Accordingly, a joint surprise check was conducted on June 25 at office of LCMF Ltd, at Kavaratti (Lakshadweep) and Calicut (Kerala).

It revealed that during the year 2016-17, under the false/fake assurance of Mohd Faizal, MP, Lakshadweep that a foreign buyer M/s SRT General Merchants Importers and Exporters, Colombo 11, Sri Lanka is willing to purchase/import Massmeen at higher rate than the prevailing rate. Board of Directors of LCMF Ltd, in its meeting 21.11.2016 decided to procure Massmeen from the poor fishermen of Lakshadweep Island and subsequently, procured approx. 287 MT of Massmeen from them of different islands of Union Territory of Lakshadweep through respective co-operative societies of islands.

During this process, LCMF gave assurance to the fishermen that they will be paid higher rates against the prevailing rates. The matter was proceeded by MP Anwar, the then Managing Director, LCMF without following norms and without floating any tender and merely relying on the assurance of Mohd Faizal, MP Lakshadweep.

Based on the above surprise check, a complaint was lodged by a senior CBI official in New Delhi and it revealed that Mohd Abdul Razik of Lakshadweep, relative of Mohd Faizal, MP, Lakshadweep, was representative of M/s SRT, Colombo, Sri Lanka in this matter.

Mohd Faizal, MP, Lakshadweep made all arrangements and he was instrumental in fixing the Massmeen exporter M/s Accelerated Freeze Drying Company (AFDC), Cochin, Kerala through LCMF Ltd. Subsequently, LCMF Ltd. entered into an agreement with M/s AFDC, Cochin based exporter agency, in which terms of reference for export of Massmeen were agreed upon.

However, the said project was not materialized due to the refusal of AFDC as it did not receive Rs 60 lacs for the first consignment of 10 MT of messmeen which was exported to the Sri Lankan company.

Due to the above, the company M/s AFDC, Cochin suffered a loss of Rs 60 lakhs approximately and also it did not continue the lifting of further Massmeen through LCMF, as per the agreement. Finally, when M/s. AFDC faced a loss of Rs 60 lakhs, the poor fishermen of Lakshadweep Islands and LCMF has faced loss of money to the tune of Rs 9 crores (approximately). (ANI)

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