The CBI has booked an Assam-based private company and its top brass for allegedly causing losses of more than ₹5 crore to Indian Railways by transporting marble powder disguised as alum powder from Rajasthan to other parts of the country over seven months from September 2021.

During preliminary enquiry, CBI said it emerged that Pravesh Kabra, proprietor of Vinayak Logistics and also director of its concern, Vinayak Logistics India Pvt Ltd, entered into criminal conspiracy with connivance of unknown railway officials and managed to get alum powder misdeclared as marble powder for loading and transporting as many as 20 rakes from Mandalgarh railway station in Rajasthan to different destinations such as in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, Sankrail Goods Terminal Yard in West Bengal and Changsari in Assam from September 2021 to March 2022, causing huge loss to the Railways, alleged the CBI.

If the commodity transported is considered to be charged at par with marble chips, then a wrongful loss of approximately ₹5.14 crore is caused to Indian Railways and a corresponding wrongful gain to the accused persons, the CBI FIR read.

Alum powder as a commodity attracts lower freight charge in comparison to actual commodity marble powder, says the agency.

The CBI double checked source information about the racket by conducting joint surprise check (JSC) at Mandalgarh Railway Station and came to the conclusion that it was worth probing to unravel the criminal activity that was a drain on the public exchequer.

Absconding economic offender offloaded to India

In another case, an absconding economic offender was brought back to India from the US by the help of Interpol to face trail in bank fraud case of Bengaluru. T Ravindranath Gupta landed at the Kochi airport Tuesday night from the US via the United Arab Emirates when he was arrested by a waiting CBI team and was taken to Bengaluru.

“The Global Operations Centre of CBI in close coordination with Interpol channels has coordinated the return of a Red Notice subject,” a CBI spokesperson stated. The agency got an Interpol Red notice published against Gupta on May 4, this year, after he fled the country following his conviction by the Special Judge, CBI Cases, Bangalore, and sentenced to undergo 3 years imprisonment, informed the spokesperson.