NEW DELHI: CBI searches were underway on Friday at 13 locations in four districts of poll-bound West Bengal in connection with the coal pilferage scam, officials said.
Searches are going on in Purulia, Bankura, Pashchim Bardhaman and Kolkata, they said.
The searches included premises of Amiya Steel Pvt Ltd in Kolkata and Bankura and that of Joydeb Mandal, the alleged deputy of the suspected kingpin of the racket Anup Manjhi.
The CBI had registered an FIR in November last year against Manjhi alias Lala, Eastern Coalfield Ltd General Managers Amit Kumar Dhar (of then Kunustoria area now Pandaveswar area) and Jayesh Chandra Rai (Kajor area) besides ECL Chief of Security Tanmay Das, Area Security Inspector, Kunustoria Dhananjay Rai and SSI and security in-charge Kajor area Debashish Mukherjee.
It is alleged that Manjhi is involved in illegal mining and theft of coal from leasehold mines of ECL in Kunustoria and Kajora areas, they said.
The CBI acted on information from “reliable sources” that indicated illegal excavation and theft of coal in the leasehold area of ECL in “connivance” with officials of ECL, CISF and Railways.