Lakshadweep MP, nephew under CBI radar in Tuna fish export scam

A 25-member team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) led by a DIG is conducting a surprise check along with vigilance officials of Lakshadweep administration in connection with corruption and irregularities in some departments of Lakshadweep administration related to the export of Tuna fish.

A CBI source said that Mohammed Faizal, a Member of Parliament from Lakshadweep and his nehpew Abdul Razak who owns a Colombo-based firm namely SRT General Merchant Import and Export, are on their radar.

The departments which are being raided are Lakshadweep Co-operative Marketing Federation (LCMF), Fisheries Department, Public Works Department, Khadi Board and Co-operative Society and Animal Husbandry Department.

“It was alleged that some public servants of LCMF, Department of Public Distribution, Lakshadweep Administration, in collusion with the public representatives and public servants caused loss to LCMF in the matter of export of Tuna fish to a Sri Lanka based company without following requisite tender process and other formalities,” said the CBI source.

It was further alleged that the LCMF procured a huge amount of Tuna fish from local fishermen under MP Mohammed Faizal’s influence.

The fish procured was exported by LCMF to a company based in neighbouring country which did not make payments to LCMF. It thus caused huge losses to LCMF.

Razak, the nephew of Faizal, under whose influence LCMF procured Tuna fish was later exported to Sri Lanka based firm in which he himself is a representative.

Some unknown public servants from Department of Fisheries, Lakshadweep Administration in connivance with others swindled huge amount of subsidy by illegally registering a large number of boats in the name of poor residents of the Lakshadweep island. These boats are being run with subsidised diesel meant for poor fishermen.

“A majority of beneficiaries of the houses being constructed by the Lakshadweep Building Development Board under the schemes meant for poor people are ineligible persons. In Khadi Board and Co-operative Society Lakshadweep, several local leaders are loan defaulters. There is an alleged scam of several crores of rupees in the Animal Husbandry Department, Lakshadweep in purchase of low quality medicines and poultry feeds,” said the source.

Copies of relevant documents have been obtained, which are being scrutinised.

(Atul Krishan can be approached at atul.k@ians.in)

20220624-203202

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