Company official grilled on extraction of ore, royalty paid, dump reserves, under invoicing and extraction beyond lease area
PANJIM: Director of Sociedade de Fomento Industrial Pvt Ltd, Francisco Lume Pereira, was questioned on Tuesday by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is probing the multi-crore illegal mining scam that allegedly occurred between 2003 and 2012.
Pereira was questioned for almost six hours at the SIT, Crime Branch office, by Superintendent of Police Priyanka Kashyap and Investigation Officer Dattaguru Sawant. Pereira reached the SIT office at 11 am and left the office at 5.45 pm with an hour’s lunch break.
Sources at SIT said that the mining company officer was questioned regarding actual extraction of ore, royalty paid, dump reserves year wise. It is learnt that the officer submitted details of extraction, bank accounts and income tax year wise from 2003 to 2012.
Pereira was also interrogated with regard to under invoicing to evade royalties and over extraction beyond the lease area.
When contacted SIT officials refused to speak on the investigation stating details cannot be revealed while the investigation is in progress.
SIT on May 27 had summoned directors of eight prominent mining companies to depose before the investigation officer in the ongoing investigation in the alleged illegal mining scam.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2012, had promised to recover the money from the scam within six months of its government coming to power.
Of the 16 illegal mining cases handed over to SIT, three have been closed (C-Summary granted by the Court) and two were sent back to the police stations as they were of minor thefts. In all six cases have been charge sheeted and five are pending investigation.
SIT has so far interrogated former minister Joaquim Alemao, former chief minister Digambar Kamat, Under Secretary of Mines, Secretary of law, CCF Shahi Kumar.
Besides Deshprabhu, Arvind Lolienkar, Gitesh Naik and Prassana Godge were arrested by SIT and released on bail.
Kamat’s and Lolienkar’s bail applications are pending before the Special Court, whereas interim relief has been granted. Both had been summoned by SIT for interrogation last month.
Crime Branch had registered an FIR in August 2013 against those named in various reports (Shah Commission and other committees) including Kamat, Lolienkar and other officials of the department, mining firms and others.