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CBI books Lakshadweep MP in tuna fish export case

It was further alleged that the procurement was done by then MD of LCMF, without following norms and without floating any tender.

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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against four including Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Lok Sabha MP from Lakshadweep Mohammed Faizal P.P in connection with alleged irregularities in tuna fish export to a Sri Lankan company.

Searches were conducted on Tuesday at six places including Andrott Island (Lakshadweep), Calicut (Kerala) and New Delhi. The probe is underway, the CBI statement stated.

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The case has been booked against Mohammed Faizal (MP from Lakshadweep), Mohammad Abdul Razik Thangal, SRT General Merchants Importers & Exporters, Colombo (Sri Lanka) and M.P.Anwar (then Managing Director of LCMF Ltd).

Earlier, on June 24 this year, a joint surprise check was conducted by CBI and Vigilance Officials of Lakshadweep at the office of LCMF Ltd. at Kavaratti (Lakshadweep) and Calicut (Kerala).

During scrutiny of the documents relating to LCMF, it was allegedly found that in the year 2016-17 a false assurance by a foreign buyer of a neighbouring country, who was willing to purchase/import tuna fish at a higher rate than the prevailing rate, LCMF procured approximately 287 MT of tuna fish from the fishermen of Lakshadweep Islands. They were given assurance of payment at higher rates against the prevailing rates, it stated.

It was further alleged that the procurement was done by then MD of LCMF, without following norms and without floating any tender.

It was alleged that the accused had arranged a Cochin-based tuna fish exporter and as per the arrangements, the said exporter’s company based at Cochin received the first consignment of tuna fish from LCMF for which it paid Rs 60 lakh to the latter and exported the tuna fish to the company of the neighbouring country.

However, the exporter company of Cochin did not receive payment from the company of the neighbouring country and thus suffered a loss of Rs 60 lakh following which it refused to lift the rest of the tuna fish from LCMF. It was further alleged that the LCMF subsequently auctioned the remaining tuna fish at a rate less than the prevailing market rate, as a result of which the poor fishermen of Lakshadweep Islands and LCMF suffered losses to the tune of Rs 9 crore, CBI statement stated.

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