12 Matsyafed officials in seven districts transferred after massive fraud is exposed

Representational image.

Kollam: Twelve officers have been served transfer orders in Matsyafed, where widespread irregularities were reported recently. According to authorities, the mass transfers have been ordered for administrative convenience. However, it is pointed out that the move is to prevent further revelations regarding the massive fraud which took place in the federation.

The transferred officials are based at Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Malappuram, Kollam, Alappuzha and Thrissur. Among them is the official attached to the Common Pre-processing Centre at Sakthikulangara in Kollam, where a fraud amounting to Rs 1 crore was unearthed.

Backdoor appointments

Another controversy involving Matsyafed was related to appointments. Recently, a close confidant of a top official was given charge of handling temporary postings after the backdoor appointments in Matsyafed sparked a controversy. It is now alleged that the move is aimed at preventing leak of information regarding temporary appointments.

From August 15, 2016 to August 15, 2021, 342 backdoor appointments took place in Matsyafed and most of the recruits were either relatives of CPM leaders or people recommended by them. Another 27 people were given jobs after the present governing body led by T Manoharan took charge.

Matsyafed authorities are desperate to prevent further leaks regarding appointments before the Assembly session which begins later this month.

Fisheries Dept report

Meanwhile, the Director of Fisheries Department submitted a preliminary report to the government confirming the fraud at Kollam. At the same, Fisheries Director Dr Adeela Abdulla has directed deputy registrar K S Ramani to conduct an inquiry before the final report is prepared.

Dr Dinesh Cheruvat, the managing director of Matsyafed, also has submitted a report to the government regarding the malpractice to the tune of Rs 1 crore at Kollam. This report explains how the fraud took place and says that action was taken against two employees.

Incidentally, M Mahesh, a temporary accountant who is the first accused in the case, is now in hiding. According to the police, they had traced his hideout and the arrest would take place soon. K Animon, a Matsyafed employee who is the second accused, has approached the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail.

Matsyafed or the Kerala State Co-operative Federation for Fisheries Development Ltd is the federation of 654 primary fisherman co-operative societies. 

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