Tuna scam: CBI books Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal, nephew

Mohammed Faizal
Mohammed Faizal. File

New Delhi: The CBI has booked Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal under corruption charges for alleged irregularities in the export of Tuna fish to a Sri Lankan company represented by his nephew, officials said Tuesday.

The NCP MP's nephew Abdul Razik Thangal and the Colombo-based company SRT General Merchants that he represented have also been named in the FIR as accused, the officials said.

The agency on Tuesday conducted searches at the residence of Faizal in Delhi, Calicut and Lakshadweep, they said.

Faizal did not respond to messages requesting his response.

The CBI had conducted joint surprise checks after getting inputs of alleged corruption in last week of June.

According to the CBI, some public servants of the Lakshadweep Cooperative Marketing Federation (LCMF), in collusion with some public representatives and government servants, caused loss to the LCMF in the matter of the export of tuna fish to SRT General Merchants without following the requisite tender process and other formalities.

Board of Directors of LCMF, in its meeting on November 21, 2016 decided to procure the fish from local fishermen, the FIR alleged.

They procured 287 MT of the fish from them of different islands of Lakshadweep through co-operative societies of islands on the assurance that fishermen will get prices higher than the prevailing market rate, it said.

M P Anwar, the then Managing Director, LCMF, also named as accused, without following norms and without floating any tender and merely relying on the assurance of Faizal proceeded with the purchase, the FIR said.

Faizal fixed the Tuna fish exporter Accelerated Freeze Drying Company (AFDC) based in Cochin, Kerala through LCMF for exporting the fish, it alleged.

The said project was not materialized due to refusal of AFDC as it did not receive Rs 60 lakh for the first consignment of the fish which was to be exported to the Sri Lankan company.

"Cochin-based AFDC suffered a loss of about Rs 60 lakh and also it did not continue the lifting of fish through LCMF, as per the agreement. The poor fishermen of Lakshadweep Islands and LCMF have faced a loss of money to the tune of approximately Rs 9 crore," the FIR said.

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