The Straits Times
Published on Sep 04, 2012

Indian investigators probe firms over coal scandal


NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's top criminal investigation agency on Tuesday opened a probe against five coal companies after raiding premises across the country over the alleged mis-allocation of lucrative mining rights.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokesman Dharini Mishra said that 30 premises had been visited as detectives examined whether coal companies were guilty of cheating in a scandal that has rocked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"We have registered an FIR (First Information Report) after conducting raids in 10 cities," Ms Mishra said, adding that coal company offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata had been targeted.

The CBI will probe whether some of the firms were set up only to get the coal blocks allocated by the government, and then sold them on at massive profits.