HYDERABAD: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids at several locations in Bhopal, Hyderabad and Bengaluru over the alleged e-tender rigging racket. This is said to be as big as a ₹ 3,000-crore scam.
According to sources, the ED started their search operation at locations of people allegedly involved in the case. The raid was carried out at various locations. Further decisions will be made under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act.
A total of 16 locations were raided including sites in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Bhopal. Search was conducted even at the location of the former chief secretary of Madhya Pradesh. Reports suggest that the raid is still going on at some of the sites as of Today (Thursday).
Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a criminal case last year to investigate the case where it was alleged that the e-tender portal of the state government was hacked to manipulate tenders and grab contracts. It was being said that this manipulation took place when BJP was in power.
Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Madhya Pradesh Police first filed a case. It was during the time when Madhya Pradesh was under chief minister Kamal Nath, Congress government rule. Now the ED went through all these case files and registered a case under the PMLA.
The EOW has filed cases against directors and marketing representatives of seven companies, unidentified officials of five state government departments and number of politicians. They were charged under IPC section 420 (cheating), the Information Technology Act, and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
There were a total of seven construction companies involved in the alleged racket case. From Mumbai, it was The Hume Pipe Limited and JMC Limited. Two based in Hyderabad, GVPR Limited and Ms Max Maintaina. Based in Vadodara, Sorathia Velji Limited and Ms Madhav Infra Projects. Lastly, Ram Kumar Narwani Limited in Bhopal.
Certain officials from the Bhopal-based OSMO IT Solution, which issued 'signature certificate' for e-tenders were charged as well.
Government departments, including Jal Nigam, Lok Nirman Vibhag (Public Works Department and its Project Implementation unit), MP Road Development Corporation and Water Resources Development, had floated nine tenders which were allegedly tampered with.
The EOW officials said that, The officials from software companies who were responsible for developing the e-tendering portal of the MP Electronic Development Corporation are also under ED’s radar for allegedly leaking information which facilitated the hacking of the portal.
The above companies allegedly hacked the Madhya Pradesh e-tendering portal. They quoted the lowest possible rates and were able to secure ₹ 3,000 crore worth projects in the month of January and March, 2018. The tenders were canceled.