The anti-corruption branch (ACB) of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the residences and offices of traffic manager and former deputy chairman of the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) on Saturday afternoon.
CBI officers claimed the duo had illegally allotting sheds to a private firm in 2008 causing a loss of Rs 6.63 crore to the government.
The raids were conducted on Saturday after CBI got information that V Ranganath, traffic manager, MbPT, and Ashok Kumar Bal, former deputy chairman, had showed favours to Interport Impex Limited by allotting it sheds for use in 2008 under casual occupancy instead of applicable “scale of rates”.
The officers allegedly also waived demurrage charges supposed to be levied on the firm without proper approval from the competent authority.
According to a CBI statement, in 2008, Ranganath and Bal allowed the firm to remove cargo stored by it beyond permissible limit in the sheds, without levying applicable demurrage charges and without sanction of competent authority. This caused a loss of Rs 6.63 crore to the government, but a profit for the company.
CBI officials alleged that Ranganath also dishonestly allotted sheds A, K, L and N of MbPT to the company without adopting proper procedure. The CBI registered a case against the two officers and other yet-to-be identified officers of MbPT for cheating, conspiracy and under sections of prevention of corruption act.
The CBI conducted searches at the residences and office premises of the officers.
While Bal, who took voluntary retirement last year and is presently employed with a big corporate house, stays at Cuffe Parade, Ranganath stays in government flat at Fort.
A senior CBI officer, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media said that when the CBI team went to Bal’s house, it was locked as he is out of town. “We have sealed the flat,” the officer added.
At Ranganath’s residence, the CBI found Rs 80,000 cash. When the officials found that Ranganath owns two flats in Powai, they raided them too. In the Powai flats, the CBI officials found some documents that are related to the case.
The CBI also conducted searches at the office premises of Interport Impex and the residence of its owner. The agency seized many incriminating documents during the searches. Bal was earlier posted in the income tax department.