Indian Police Make Raids Involving Coal Scandal

Posted September 4th, 2012 at 12:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Indian authorities have raided premises across the country as part of a probe into alleged irregularities in the award of coal fields to private companies.

The Central Bureau of Investigation says law enforcement officials visited homes and offices Tuesday to learn if companies were guilty of cheating and criminal conspiracy in the latest scandal to hit the country's ruling coalition.

A CBI spokeswoman told the French news agency police conducted raids in 10 cities and targeted coal company offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party welcomed the raids and insisted allocations of all coal blocks be canceled immediately.

India's government has refuted the corruption allegations.

Opposition members have been calling for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation since the release last month of a national auditor's report claiming the government sold coal fields to private companies without transparency and competitive bidding between 2004 and 2009.

The national auditor also alleged companies saw a potential profit gain of up to $34 billion, money that could have gone to the government.