The Enforcement Directorate has disclosed one of the biggest scams in recent times as it has unearthed the Rs 3,000 crore e-tendering scam of Infra, a front company of Mantena, which was allegedly created for cash transactions in order to pay bribes.
The ED arrested founder and chairman of Mantena Constructions Private Ltd., Srinivas Raju Mantena, and his Bhopal-based associate Aditya Tripathi of Arni Infra on the charges of money laundering in the Rs 3,000 crore e-tendering scam in Madhya Pradesh.
Srinivas Raju and his staff of the Mantena Group of Companies had allegedly conspired with the Madhya Pradesh State Electronics Development Corporation Limited and tampered with the e-tenders process to bag big-ticket contracts.
The ED said: “The accused had colluded with senior government officials and IT service providers of Madhya Pradesh State Electronics Development Corporation (MPSEDC) to tamper e-tenders and to illegally obtain large contracts for various firms.” A majority of the infrastructure companies are based in Hyderabad.
The malfeasance took place in 2019 and the cases were registered earlier by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of MP against Max Mantena Micro JV Hyderabad and GVPR Engineers Limited, Hyderabad, among others. After the EOW registered the cases, the ED obtained the FIR details from the probe agency and registered the cases.
The major concern on the part of investigation is that the premier investigating agency of India, CBI hasn’t looked into the matter. Why The Central Bureau of Investigation, which investigates the bribery and governmental corruption, remains unaware of such a huge scam? If the CBI remains unaware of such scams, it will further motivate other fraudsters to play foul.
As per the investigation by ED reveals that Srinivas Raju has played a crucial role in the entire scam. With the assistance of Tripathi, he set up a front entity, Arni Infra, in Bhopal and used it to route funds for hawala activities. Both Srinivas Raju and Tripathi have admitted that Mantena Constructions has given sub-contracts of earthworks worth around Rs 93 crore to Tripathi.
Based on the chargesheet filed by the EOW officials of MP, the ED sleuths found that the company, along with others involved in the case, had tampered with the IP access logs and accessed the e-tenders. They had changed the bid values of certain companies so that the Mantena Group of Companies becomes the lowest bidder. This is how Srinivas Raju had obtained an e-tender worth Rs 1,030 crore.
As per the law, CBI has been known to investigate several economic crimes, special crimes, cases of corruption and other cases. As a part of aware media group, we would want an unbiased investigation into the matter keeping the severity of the crime.