The CBI has raided seven officials over the past two days in connection with its probe into illegal export of iron ore from Belekeri port in Karnataka between 2008 and 2010.
Those raided include Seemanth Kumar Singh,a former SP of iron ore-rich Bellary who is now deputy IG in the Border Security Force,principal chief conservator of forests S Nagaraj,a former additional SP of Bellary and two police inspectors.
The CBI is investigating,as ordered by the Supreme Court last year,how Belekeri port was allowed to be used to ship iron ore abroad by a mining mafia of politicians from Bellary and officials of police,forest,mining,revenue and port departments.
Such was this mafias reach that between March and June 2010 it is believed to have stolen from Belekeri 8.05 lakh tonne iron ore,valued at around Rs 250 crore,that was seized by law enforcement agencies on March 10,2010. It was part of iron ore illegally mined in Bellary.
The case the CBI is investigating relates to illegal excavation of 50 lakh metric tonne iron ore worth Rs 2,500 crores and its subsequent export from Belekeri.
The probe had last year led the CBI to the offices of iron ore firms run by Karapudi Mahesh,I L C Somashekhar and BJP legislator B Nagendra,all associates of mining baron and former BJP minister G Janardhan Reddy,who is being tried for running a mining mafia out of Bellary.