Kerala

Minister’s Confession and SFIO’s Multi-Faceted Probe: Unraveling the Veena Account Saga

Revelations, Contradictions, and Potential CBI Probe Rock Financial Investigation

Kochi: SFIO ongoing probe is currently probing eight institutions, including CMRL, for their regular deposits into the account of Exalogic. The controversial company is owned by the Krala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter, Veena. The investigation team, led by SFIO Deputy Director M. Arun Prasad, has discreetly commenced recording statements from the individuals involved. These statements are crucial as they provide evidence, although some inconsistencies have been noted. Despite this, many are reluctant to implicate Veena directly.

Uncovering Financial Irregularities

In a parallel investigation, the SFIO has obtained income tax records of the black sand processing company CMRL, dating back to 2010. During an inspection at the company’s Aluva office, documents revealing a transfer of Rs 14 crore were discovered. This transaction was not disclosed in filings before the Interim Settlement Board by the Income Tax Department. CMRL is now pressured to account for this substantial sum and clarify its destination. Furthermore, the SFIO is scrutinizing whether this transfer occurred every month. Arun Prasad is keen on expediting the report, with a potential recommendation for a CBI probe looming.

Allegations and Inquiries

Additionally, the SFIO is delving into the illegal transfer of Rs 135 crore to political figures, trade union leaders, and bureaucrats. This investigation extends beyond the purview of the Interim Settlement Board records. Meanwhile, Shaun George has leveled accusations against KSIDC, alleging its involvement in the misappropriation of mineral sands by Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML). The permission granted to KMML for black sand mining at Thotapalli, allegedly facilitated by KSIDC, is under scrutiny by the SFIO.

Shaun has further alleged irregularities in the pricing of sand mining permits. He highlighted a significant disparity between the sanctioned rate of Rs 464 and the international price of Rs 30,600. He has also called for an inquiry into the appointments of three former KSIDC officers as directors of CMRL. All appointments are made without observing the mandated cooling-off period when leaving a public entity. 

Minister’s Admission

Meanwhile, Minister P. Rajeev has acknowledged that KMML procured synthetic rutile from CMRL. This is noteworthy as CMRL is under investigation for its financial dealings with the Chief Minister’s daughter.

In response to CR Mahesh’s query regarding KMML’s procurement of synthetic rutile from CMRL, the minister initially denied such transactions. However, in a subsequent reaction to opposition MLAs on February 13, the minister admitted to purchases made between 2008 and 2020. Moreover, GST E-bills indicate that Blak Sand from the Thottapalli spillway was supplied to CMRL, which provided synthetic rutile to PSU KMML.

The investigation has unveiled a concerning pattern where CMRL, ostensibly a public sector entity, has operated with private interests, supplying products to other public sector organizations like KMML. With CMRL officials disclosing payments totaling Rs 135 crore to political parties and officials, suspicions arise. These suspicions suggest that this sum may have been funneled to conceal illicit dealings from 2008 to 2020.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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