A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team searched the bank lockers owned by S. Shanavas, former managing director of Steel and Industrial Forgings Ltd. (SIFL) in connection with the ongoing probe into the alleged manipulation of transactions between the State government undertaking and ordnance factories.

It is learnt that the search made at the Federal Bank’s Thottakkattukara branch led to title deeds of investments that Dr. Shanavas had made in the past and also to seizure of the case diary of a case registered against him at Aluva police station in 2008.

The CBI registered a case against Dr. Shanavas, along with A. Valsan, senior Manager, SIFL, and Subi Mally, a Mumbai-based businesswoman, for manipulating the deals between SIFL and Ordnance Factory Project Medak in Hyderabad.

The allegation was that the three connived with other defence personnel to change the work orders and earn commission out of it. Initial inquiries showed the three sharing a commission of Rs.18 lakh, which Dr. Shanavas denied while interacting with the media. Though the seizure of title deeds is not directly related to the case being probed by CBI, it is learnt that the investigation will look into the source of money used by the accused in those land deals and it will be verified whether he used money from other deals.

The CBI team also visited his residence at Thottumugham, Aluva, where there were complaints of illegal reclamation of the Periyar river. Any irregularities spotted would be referred to the local police, sources said.

The CBI is also probing the alleged misappropriations made in the deal between SIFL and the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi, Chennai. The investigators are presently corroborating the statements collected from the accused and are working towards identifying the defence personnel involved.

Probe is also being made into the role played by a former Lieutenant Colonel from New Delhi, who was mentioned in one of the e-mails of Ms. Mally.