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EOW starts probe into Rs 50cr sugar export scam.

Date: 15-11-2016
Subject: EOW starts probe into Rs 50cr sugar export scam
MUMBAI: The economic offences wing (EOW) of the city police has begun investigation into the alleged fraudulent export of two lakh tonnes of sugar by 21 sugar factories in the state. The fraud was initially estimated at around Rs 22 crore, but the police believe it may go up to Rs 50 crore.

Principally, sugar was exported in 2007-08 at rates lower than market prices, but the transport company was paid at rates higher than that prevalent at the time. Around 200 accused have been listed, including the chairmen, managing directors and directors of the 21 factories in Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Ahmednagar, Solapur and Pune.

An advocate, Govind Patil, had filed the case with the police. "The modus operandi was that over two lakh tonnes of sugar were sold to Kenya, Tanzania and Sri Lanka at a much lower price than the market rate in India. Moreover, the transportation fees given to M/s Shakti Credit Limited were much higher than market rates. During our initial probe, we found that it was the transporter's firm that had brought the proposal of export and the remaining work was done with its help," said a police officer.

A Kolhapur resident, Vasant Apte, had filed a petition in the Bombay high court in 2008 seeking a probe. The HC directed the Sugar Committee to inquire. During its second inquiry, sugar commissioner Raj Gopal Deora found a loss of crores and the court ordered Mumbai police to probe. "After a preliminary inquiry, we registered a cheating case in August 2016 against the chairman, managing directors, directors and office bearers of M/s Shakti Credit. We have written to all the sugar factories to furnish records of all exports during 2007-08 and are waiting for their reply. We have also made an office bearer of the Maharashtra Sugar Federation an accused," added the officer.

The sleuths said they are trying to track how Shakti Credit got the tenders for the exports, mainly through JNPT, Kandla and Port Bundar ports. The role of some officers of the Indian Sugar Export-Import Pvt Ltd is under probe.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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