The Eastern Coalfields Ltd’s vigilance team in 2019 had detected an attempt to pilfer 500 tonnes of coal from the company’s mines in West Bengal and this was reported to local authorities, but no concrete action was taken, officials said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday started questioning three railway officials, including senior divisional operations manager Shantanu Chakraborty, who is posted in Asansol, in connection with the case, they said.
The alleged multi-crore coal pilferage scam is related to the public sector undertaking’s mines in the state’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas. The coal, which was to be ferried by the railways, was found dumped near a railway siding in Asansol, the officials said.
The case of 500 tonnes of coal being pilfered from mines in 2019 was linked to a businessman who was questioned by the agency on Wednesday, they said.
The CBI during questioning of suspects and officials of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) had got information that the company’s vigilance team had reported to local authorities the attempt to pilfer 500 tonnes of coal from mines but hardly any concrete action was taken, the officials said.
The CBI had registered an FIR in November last year against the alleged kingpin of the pilferage racket, Anup Manjhi alias Lala, ECL general managers Amit Kumar Dhar and Jayesh Chandra Rai, ECL security chief Tanmay Das, Kunustoria area security inspector Dhananjay Rai and Kajor area security in-charge Debashish Mukherjee.
Dhar, the then Kunustoria area general manager, is now posted in Pandaveswar, while Rai is general manager for the Kajor area.