Bhopal: Racketeers spread tentacles in CG, Delhi

BHOPAL: MP’s high-profile honey trap and extortion racket had set eyes on mega project in Chhattisgarh and was also eyeing creating space in Delhi. The recently busted alleged racket which has jolted the corridors of power in Madhya Pradesh is turning out to be mother of all honey-traps.

Ongoing investigations into the racket busted last week with arrest of five women and their car driver has revealed that masterminds of the racket had set their eyes on the national capital to bag Central government work orders for their NGOs and big contracts for their big corporate clients, some of who could be based outside India also.

The racket masterminds were also eyeing a mega project in Chhattisgarh for one of their big corporate clients using their political and bureaucratic contacts in that state.

Sources privy to investigations have revealed that around a year back, the racket masterminds had nearly managed to facilitate the clinching of a significant export-import related contract of the central government for an NRI businessman, who has major overseas business operations. But their efforts through their bureaucratic and political contacts having influence in Delhi failed.

The racket operative women were again eyeing to create a space for selves in the national capital through different channels, including by getting close to a union minister hailing from MP. But they twice failed in their efforts to get close to the minister, after which they were looking to develop other critical contacts in the central government.

Also, the racket operatives were particularly eyeing a mega government contract for one of their corporate clients in Chhattisgarh and if succeeded would have got several crore rupees from their beneficiary client.

“They were particularly zeroing in on Chhattisgarh, particularly as they had close contacts with two to three former ministers of the state as well as serving Indian Forest Service (IFS) and Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers,” an informed source confided.

Importantly, one of the masterminds of the racket who reportedly runs a factory close to Bhopal had also managed to get a plum contract for supplies of some components to a major central public sector undertaking using her high-profile contacts.

One of the racket operatives, who had major political contacts in previous regime in MP, used her intimacy with an ex-minister hailing from a tribal dominated West MP district to get close to a powerful politician from Maharashtra’s Marathwada region and ultimately managed to get work related to skill development and labour for her NGO in the western state.

The racket operatives, who have been in contact with powerful men in corridors of power in MP for around a decade now, also earned big sums from commission in big transfers and postings in the central Indian state.

“At least four bank accounts and two lockers operated by two women operatives of the racket in Bhopal have been sealed to track the actual money trail.

Also, details of all snazzy cars used by these women residing in posh townships of Bhopal are also being gathered,” an informed source added.Importantly, out of the four women who were primarily involved in the racket, two women Sweta Vijay Jain and Barkha Soni Bhatnagar, who reportedly had key political contacts in both BJP and the Congress were the forefront of all major business deals.

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