Lakshadweep MP, nephew under CBI lens over alleged Tuna fish export scamtext_fields
Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal has come under the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with corruption and irregularities in some departments of the island administration related to the export of Tuna fish.
As per reports, a 25-member team of the CBI and the Lakshadweep administration's vigilance officials have been engaged in conducting a surprise check at different departments of the Lakshadweep administration.
A CBI source said that Faizal's nephew Abdul Razzak and a Colombo-based company identified as SRT General Merchants Importer and Exporter are also under 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.
As per the source, 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 a requisite tender process and other formalities.
The CBI alleged that the LCMF procured a large amount of tuna fish from local fishermen using MP Faizal's influence. The tuna fish procured in this manner was exported by the LCMF to SRT General Merchants, but the company did not make payments, the CBI said. According to CBI sources, Faizal's nephew Razzak is an office-bearer of SRT.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Faizal said that he is not aware of the CBI probe and added that the fish was sold to SRT as the buyers had offered a very good price.
"The (cooperative marketing) federation identified a buyer in Lanka and he offered very good raters. But the buyer backed out later due to some intervention by Thoothukudi middlemen. As a result, 250 MT of fish was left with the federation to dispose of. Then, there was a local auction and Thoothukudi middlemen bought it. There is no corruption in it. Let them enquire it, the truth will come out," he further said.