CBI nets Delhi-based company in Karipur runway scam
By P RAMDAS - KOCHI
Published: 12th Aug 2012 12:43:14 PM
The Karipur runway widening scam has deepened. In a major breakthrough where the CBI had arrested two directors of a New Delhi-based private company Arora Associates on Wednesday in relation with a scam of more than Rs 50 lakh in the runway widening project, three more persons from the company have been said to be involved.
BR Arora and MP Madhu Nair, the directors of the company were arrested by the CBI for having conspired with a few officials at the Karipur Airport, cheating the government by preparing and producing forged invoices of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Cochin. The investigative agency has unearthed the involvement of three more officials of BR Arora Associates.
According to investigating officer JR D’Cruz, three persons—former project in-charge Diberendra Singh, former senior engineer Raman Sharma and former company project manager K V Jayakumar are involved in the case.
“In the preliminary investigation, the CBI found that there were nine accused in the case, including Arora and Nair. A couple of airport officials are likely to be arrested soon,” the sources said. The CBI is also trying to seize the computer used for preparing the forged invoices.
The CBI has found that officials at Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) Karipur office conspired with the company staff, showing a supply of bitumen to BR Arora Associates. The company prepared false invoices of the IOC and submitted them to the Airports Authority, along with bills for strengthening the runway. “Completely aware of the forged nature of the invoices, the airport officials made stock entries of bitumen and falsely showed the issue of bitumen for the work,” the CBI sources said.
The airport officials further passed the bills, and payment was released. This caused a wrongful loss to the tune of Rs 53,06,578 to the Union Government.” As many as 26 forged invoices of IOC, Manali, and 11 invoices of IOC, Cochin, were submitted to the AAI office in Karipur, for about 504 MT of bitumen amounting to approximately Rs 1.8 crore,” the CBI sources said.
Former airport senior manager Prakash Kachnger is one of the accused. The Airports Authority of India had awarded the work to Arora Associates on January 19, 2007. The amount earmarked for the work was Rs 17.38 crore.
Cruz had earlier observed that investigations was at a crucial stage. Several witnesses from New Delhi are yet to be examined. “If Arora and Nair are released on bail, they will influence the witnesses, destroy evidence and may abscond,” sources said.
The CBI now is also looking into the highway work and other related work carried out by the company across the country.