Giridhar Gopal in Bhubaneswar
A team of Central Bureau of Investigation sleuths raided the premises of a state run undertaking and the houses of at least three of its top officials in Orissa in connection with the Rs 20 crore loan advanced by the state to the Mesco group in 1997, CBI sources said Thursday.
The CBI officials headed by Deputy Superintendent of police Vivek Priyadarshi on Wednesday raided the office premises of the State Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of India Limited and the houses of its top officials including company secretary and deputy general manager, a CBI official said.
The steel plant belonging to the Mid-East Integrated Steel Limited of the Mesco group at Duburi in the coastal district of Jajpur was initiated during the erstwhile Biju Patnaik government.
The Orissa government had advanced Rs 270 million, including Rs 200 million by IPICOL, from the steel bond it had floated in 1997, for the plant.
It was alleged that IPICOL released the money without verification of the shares certificate and with the violation of rules of the steel bond, Reserve Bank of India and Union minister of finance directives, he said.
The official said that many important documents were recovered from the raid. The raid would continue till November 17.
The CBI, which has been probing the Mesco group's activities since 1997, alleged that there had been misappropriation of money in the group through creation of fake accounts, besides cheating of the public by issuing false share certificates.
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