The CBI on Thursday conducted raids at 19 places across four states in connection with the illegal export of iron ore from Belikeri port near Karwar. Companies owned by former minister Santosh Lad and the Baldota group, which is said to be the biggest rival of former minister Janardhana Reddy’s mining companies, were raided.
The CBI had registered 22 FIRs in October-November last year against mining firms which had illegally exported over 50,000 metric tonnes of iron ore from the Belikeri port. The simultaneous raids were conducted at Bangalore, Bellary, Hospet, Sandur, Belgaum in Karnataka and also in the companies premises in Goa, Salem, Kolkata, Mumbai and Gurgaon. The companies raided are: Rajmahal Silks (Bangalore), MSPL Ltd (Bellary), Greentech Mining Industry (Bangalore), Printes Export India Ltd (Yellapur), Venkateshwara Transports (Hospet), SLL Life Core Ltd (Tiruvanantapuram), Srinivas Minerals Trading (Hospet), Arshad Export (Hospet), Esmerald International (Panaji), Alliance International (Gurgaon), Akshata Minerals (Hospet), Bharath Mines and Minerals (Bellary), Daksha Minerals and Marine Pvt Ltd (Mumbai), Swastik Steels Pvt Ltd (Hospet), VSL Mining Company Pvt Ltd (Hospet), Twenty First Century Wire Rods Ltd (Bangalore), SVM Net Project Pvt Ltd (Hospet), Doddannavar Bros (Belgaum), Steer Overseas Pvt Ltd (Kolkata), Nurses Coffee Pvt Ltd (Salem), Mineral Embassy (Hospet) and Adani Enterprises (Bangalore). In Bellary and Hospet, CBI officials raided the offices of several other companies.
The officials also raided the house of Dinesh Sighvi, managing director of BMM Ltd – a major steel manufacturer, at Ennareddy Colony in Bellary. Meanwhile, simultaneous raids were also conducted at the premises of VSL Mining Company Ltd, business owned by former minister Santhosh Lad and Bellary MLA Anil Lad. In the 22 FIRs, the CBI has named 15 companies, six partnership firms and two proprietary firms. After the SC ordered the CBI investigation, the agency’s Economic Offenses Wing was given charge of the investigation.