The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the alleged multi-crore mining scam, on Tuesday, conducted a search at the office of Haresh Melwani in Panaji, in connection with the main mining case.
The search was conducted after it was found during the course of investigation that Melwani had reportedly paid royalty on iron ore, which was more than the production from the lease in Arvalem, Bicholim, informed SIT officials.
It is suspected that Melwani had allegedly purchased a large quantity of ore from unregistered ore traders, claimed the SIT officials.
The SIT officials said that some documents have been attached.
However, accounts books, ledgers, and sales/purchase invoices with respect to mining in Goa during the period 2006-2012 were not found, and suspected to have been concealed, said an SIT official.
Interestingly, though the mining lease was not transferred in his (Melwani) name, mines department had accepted royalty from him and also issued deemed mining extension to him in the year 2016, informed the SIT officials.
Last year, Melwani of H L Nathurmal mining firm had applied for anticipatory bail, and the SIT had said that “whenever the investigating officer comes to the conclusion that the custodial interrogation of the applicants is required, 48 hours notice will be given to the applicant to take necessary steps.” As such Melwani is likely to be served with 48 hours notice, informed the SIT officials.
In February this year, the SIT had filed a provisional charge-sheet against 16 accused, including Margao MLA Digambar Kamat in connection with the main case in which SIT is examining several mining leases pertaining to renewal and other illegalities.
The SIT officials said that supplementary charge-sheets will be filed in the near future.