ED conducts searches in 9 places in Aurangabad in case linked to PMAY projects
Mar 20, 2023
New Delhi [India], March 20 : The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has carried out search operations under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002 at nine locations in Aurangabad, Pune and Akola of Maharashtra in connection with a money laundering investigation into alleged irregularities linked to the tender allocation of Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (PMAY) scheme at Aurangabad.
ED on Monday said it initiated an investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by Aurangabad Municipal Corporation against firms namely Samarath Construction and JV, Indo Global Infrastructure Services, Jaguar Global Services and their respective partners, for forgery and formation of a cartel to illegally win the tender of the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation for constructing 40,000 PMAY houses at Aurangabad.
The PMAY scheme was to be implemented at seven plots or sites in Aurangabad.
ED said it was found that all three e-tenders were uploaded from a single IP address. The FIR was registered after the PMAY regulators identified the anomaly that the winning firm was not financially capable of implementing such a big project.
Further, ED investigation also revealed that the three JV firms applied for the e-tender from the same IP address.
"The tender was allotted to one M/s Samarath Construction and JV, but out of the performance Bank Guarantee of Rs 46.24 crore they had deposited BG of only Rs 88.60 lacs. Also, Samarath Construction and JV subverted the due procedure by getting the extension of the initial tender for 19.22 hectares to 120 hectares without a fresh tender process," ED said.
The amount of government subsidy involved in this alleged scam was to the tune of around Rs 1,000 crore, ED said.
Searches were conducted at all three tender applicants. It was revealed that in the case of the two losing e-tender applicants, the major JV partners have completely denied their involvement in the tender process and are claiming forgery of their credentials by the L1 applicant.
"ED has seized various incriminating documents including the note sheet of the tender file of Aurangabad Municipality from the applicant. Authorities of the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation are extending their cooperation and are sharing all documents in relation to this tender process," ED said, adding further investigations into the matter are in progress.