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CBI, ED step up mining scam probe in three states

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Panaji, June 10:

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have stepped up their investigation into the multi-billion dollar illegal mining scandal, which spans across Seemandhra, Karnataka and Goa.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the mining scam in Seemandhra and Karnataka, has informed the Goa government that large quantities of iron ore from the two states were exported from the western state and this requires investigation.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Monday started probing the role of mining companies, government officials as well as politicians involved in the mining scam in Goa, which has been pegged at Rs.35,000 crore by a Supreme Court-appointed judicial commission.

CBI Joint Director (Hyderabad) S. Arunachalam has in a letter formally intimated the Goa government that the agency is starting the probe into the Goa end of the scam in Seemandhra and Karnataka.

The federal agency is already unravelling how illegal ore from then Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka was exported from ports like Karwar, New Mangalore, Krishnapatnam (Karnataka), Kakinada, Vishakhapatnam (Seemandhra), Ennore and Chennai (Tamil Nadu).

Arunachalam said the agency would now probe the involvement of the Panaji and the Mormugao ports in Goa and the role of officials and mine operators in transporting the ore illegally mined from here.

The mining scam in Goa is already being probed by a special investigation team of Goa Police.

In another development, the ED also launched its own probe Monday into the illegal mining scam and an attempt to track down the proceeds of the money earned from illegally extracting and exporting iron ore.

As part of the ED probe, mining magnates, bureaucrats and politicians will be quizzed to establish a trail leading to the money earned from illegal mining operations, informed sources said.

(IANS)