An under construction ITI college building
An under construction ITI college building

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): A construction company has duped National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC) by providing a fake bank guarantee of Rs 10.32 crore against a contract worth Rs 113.04 crore for construction of four ITI college buildings in Madhya Pradesh. The construction company also withdrew Rs 28 crore from NPCC, claiming that 27% work of all four buildings has been completed.

A complaint regarding the fraud has been lodged by the regional office of NPCC at Shahpura police station in Bhopal.

As per modus operandi, the construction company prepared fake bank guarantees and created fake email IDs and provided to NPCC. The email IDs were similar to the banks’ original email IDs. When NPCC used to send emails on given email IDs to confirm bank guarantees, they would be confirmed.

Suspecting fraud, an NPCC team was sent to banks for physical verification of bank guarantees. The NPCC officials were shocked to know that bank guarantees were fake.

According to information, Madhya Pradesh Housing Construction Board had given construction work of four ITI colleges- Rewa, Shahdol, Jabalpur and Sagar- to NPCC.

In July 2019, NPCC floated global tender for the construction. The tender was opened in August 2019 and was awarded to Nagpur-based company Shree Tirupati Construction for Rs 113.04 crore. The construction company, which is owned by Subhash Sharma and Saurav Maurya, has an office at Bawadiya Kalan in Bhopal.

On August 21, 2019, the construction company provided a bank guarantee worth Rs 5.65 crore of United Bank of India, Dharmpeth Nagpur to NPCC. When NPCC sent an email on given email IDs, it was confirmed.

As the bank guarantee was to expire, the NPCC asked the construction company to provide one more bank guarantee. The company provided a bank guarantee worth Rs 4.47 crore of UCO Bank Gondagaon in Nagapur on May 4, 2021. When NPCC sent an email, it was confirmed.

Suspecting fraud, NPCC’s zonal manager, Madhya Pradesh, MA Mansoori formed a team and sent it to Nagapur for physical verification of both bank guarantees.

“As work progress of the company was slow, we decided to cash in the bank guarantees, first. When my team went there, both banks confirmed that there were no such bank guarantees issued by them,” Mansoori told Free Press.

He said accused provided fake email IDs to NPCC for confirmation. “They created fake email IDs. One can’t differentiate between fake and original email Ids easily,” he said, adding that a complaint has been lodged against the company.

He said construction company had withdrawn Rs 27 crore from NPCC on basis of showing fake progress reports. “The work has been terminated and the company has also been blacklisted,” he said.

Additional superintendent of police (SP), Zone-2 Rajesh Singh Bhadauriya said investigation is on and action will be taken soon. “We had sought requisite documents from NPCC. They have provided. A case will be registered against the accused soon,” he told Free Press.

Another complaint against Shree Tripathi Construction is already under investigation at Crime Branch Bhopal. Priyank Jain, in his complaint to police, has claimed that construction work of ITI College Sagar and ITI College Jabalpur was sublet to him by Shree Tripathi Construction.

A letter of intent (LOI) was also signed between him and the company. When he submitted a bill worth Rs 7 crore, the company owner refused to clear the bill, claiming that there was no LOI signed between the company and him. Later, it was found that the signature on LOI was fake.

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