CBI searches premises of KITCO officials

The CBI searched the premises of half a dozen former officials of KITCO and that of an outreach wing of an institution on Thursday in connection with the probe into the alleged misappropriation of the agency's CSR funds and a few other contracts involving the agency.

The raids were conducted in Kochi and Kottayam and on the premises of former senior officials of KITCO which is headquartered in Kochi. This was in connection with the probe into instances of alleged misappropriation of CSR funds which, according to the case, either did not reach the intended beneficiaries or did not serve the purpose for which the money was meant for. Former MD of the agency Cyriac Davis is arraigned as first accused, said a CBI official who was part of the search team.

Both the Central and State governments have stake in the consultancy agency. Among the alleged cases of fund misappropriation was one in which the agency engaged an outreach wing of an institution to train women in the Kuttampuzha tribal belt in bee keeping and making value-added products from bamboo reeds.

An official, who was associated with the implementation of the initiative and had been questioned by the CBI earlier, said that the project to handhold a few dozen women was implemented in 2015. The local body too was involved in the project, he said.

The project ran into controversy after Forest Department officials, under whose area it was implemented, feigned ignorance of the initiative. An RTI activist had alleged that KITCO officials misappropriated the bulk of funds which were meant to empower tribal women.

A probe is also under way into the alleged irregularities in identifying KITCO's head office and alleged erroneous design of an effluent treatment plant at Cochin SEZ, which led to leakage, necessitating intervention of the State Pollution Control Board. Mr. Davis was unavailable for comment.

A VACB probe had revealed that the agency’s slack supervision led to cracks surfacing on Palarivattom flyover within two years of its commissioning, following which a senior official was remanded.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 9:19:18 PM |

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