MVR Industries passed off sub-standard cashewnuts imported from other countries as domestic procurement from tribals in 1995-96

A special court sentenced M. Varadarajalu alias M.V. Raja of MVR Industries to one year’s rigorous imprisonment in a cashewnut procurement scam.

Eight others too, received the same punishment for their involvement in the 1995-96 case. Varadarajalu was arrested by the CBI in 2005, nine years after the case was registered.

According to the CBI, MVR Industries, in collusion with an official of a Union government undertaking, passed off sub-standard cashewnuts imported from other countries as domestic procurement from tribals.

CBI’s anti-corruption bureau, Chennai, charged Varadarajalu, M.S. Dinakar, former regional manager of the Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd (TRIFED), S.P. Vairavan, K. Sai Jagannathan, Dhanunjaya, K. Srinivasan, S. Srinivasa Raghavan, H. Arul Manalan and P. Ramanujam with cheating TRIFED in the procurement of cashewnuts during 1995-96.

Originally, MVR Industries entered into a buy-back agreement with TRIFED for procurement of cashewnuts from tribal areas of the State through its agents, M/s Enkay Foods Pvt. Ltd. and M/s Sathyam Foods.

However, the firm imported the nuts from Nigeria, Tanzania and Vietnam through Tuticorin port and transported them to TRIFED’s warehouses. Documents were fabricated to make it as if the nuts were procured from tribals.

The former regional manager of TRIFED had shown undue favour to the accused by sanctioning Rs. 11.79 crore for 3,200 tonnes, thereby causing wrongful loss to the public exchequer, the CBI said.

E.M.K.S. Siddharthar, XI additional special judge for CBI cases, convicted and sentenced all the accused to one year’s imprisonment and a total fine of Rs. 2.30 lakh.

As Varadarajalu has already spent three years in prison as undertrial, the term undergone will be set off. He was one of the main accused in the Indian Bank scam of the 1990s, and faces a few other cases.

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