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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday conducted raids in three different locations in Odisha in connection with alleged illegal transport of ore through the Railways.
A CBI team from Kolkata conducted raids at two locations at Rourkela, 10 places at mine rich Barbil sector and two at Rairangpur. Residences of a mineral trader and a Railway employee were raided at Rourkela. The CBI team also raided Jurudi and Banspani railway sidings.
Besides Odisha, the Central investigation agency conducted raids in 11 other locations across the country.
A scam to the tune of Rs 700 cr was alleged in illegal transport of ore through the Railways. Iron ore meant for exports was mostly shown up as domestic traffic by the exporters, thereby depriving the Railways of revenue.
It may be noted that last year, Kolkata-based trading firm Rashmi Metaliks Ltd was found guilty of illegal transport of iron ore.
Rashmi Metaliks Ltd was slapped a fine of Rs 660 crore by South-Eastern Railways for fraudulent transport of 1.8 million tonnes of iron ore under concessional freight rates of Railways meant only for domestic consumption.
The company had exported the said quantum from the Haldia port, thus duping Railways of its genuine freight charges
The South-Eastern Railways (SER), in a letter sent to the company on August 16, said Rashmi Metaliks had transported huge amount of iron ore between 2008 and 2011 under freight rates meant for domestic use only, and exported the entire amount to avoid payment of export freight rates, which attract higher charges than transport rates for domestic consumption.
Rashmi Metaliks was asked to pay Rs 660 crore, including Rs 528 crore penalty and Rs 132 crore export freight charges by the SER.
The procurement license of the company was cancelled by the deputy director of mines of the Joda circle on the basis of the letter of the zonal railway.