The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday conducted raids at 13 locations in four districts of West Bengal in connection with a coal scam, PTI reported, citing officials. These searches, which were underway in Purulia, Bankura, Pashchim Bardhaman and Kolkata, came ahead of the Assembly elections in the state.

In November last year, the central agency had filed a first information report against a person identified as Anup Manjhi, and Eastern Coalfield Limited General Managers Amit Kumar Dhar, Jayesh Chandra Rai. Others named in the FIR include its Chief of Security Tanmay Das, Area Security Inspector Kunustoria Dhananjay Rai and Security In-Charge Debashish Mukherjee.

According to CBI, Manjhi is involved in illegal mining and theft of coal from leasehold mines of Eastern Coalfield Limited in Kunustoria and Kajora areas. The case involves embezzlement of thousands of crores of rupees, the Hindustan Times reported.

The premises of Amiya Steel Private Limited and that of Joydeb Mandal, the alleged deputy of Manjhi, were also searched on Friday.