AIZAWL, Oct 2 - Opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) has accused Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla of having secret link in the recent lottery fraud in Kolkata and Siliguri involving crores of rupees.
Speaking to media at a press conference here on Thursday, Mizo National Youth Front president K Vanlalvena said the opposition party is suspicious of the link that the government of Mizoram has with a West Bengal-based Lottery Agent.
He accused Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla of being involved in a multi-crore scam involving a Siliguri-based lottery agent � Teesta Distributors, hired by the Government of Mizoram. Vanlalvena and vice-chairman of MNF Legal Board C Lalzamliana told reporters that the Teesta Distributors office was raided on Thursday last by the sleuths of Central Board of Direct Taxes where they recovered Rs 50 crore, suspected to be part of a hawala-lottery scam worth at least Rs 1,000 crore.
The leaders alleged that Teesta Distributors owned by Santiago Martin and other shareholders are involved in the lottery scam involving Rs 1,000 crore.
Alleging Lal Thanhawla of giving undue favour to Teesta Distributors, the MNF leaders alleged that he overruled the decision of the Mizoram State Lottery Committee (MSLC) headed by State Chief Secretary and forced the MSLC to select the Teesta Distributor.
The MNF leaders alleged the fund-strapped State Government lost crores of rupees annually due to alleged malpractices by a section of the people in the government.
Vanlalvena further said that a complaint was submitted to Competition Commission of India (CCI) following the anomaly in the selection of Lottery agent. He added that the Lottery Scam was investigated by Sunil Kumar, Joint Director General of Competition Commission of India (CCI), which submitted its inquiry report on January 14, 2013. A malpractice was discovered in the selection of lottery agent.
He told reporters that the State Government and the lottery agent filed a petition against the CCI in the Gauhati High Court and the court ruled in favour of the petitioners. The CCI then approached the Supreme Court which issued an interim order onMarch 9 last, instructing the CCI to go ahead with the inquiry, but not to take any decision till the apex court delivered its final judgement, the MNF leaders added.
The MNF leaders further questioned the time extension given to the lottery agents. They alleged that the Government of Mizoram has extended the term of four lottery agents to three years, six months ahead of the expiry. �The extension of their term indicates that there was a deep rooted corruption in the process�, the MNF leaders alleged.