Hyderabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation has booked a case against Hyderabad based GVK group’s chairman’s G Venkata Krishna Reddy and his son G Sanjay Reddy for allegedly siphoning off Rs 705 Crore. The funds were meant for the development and maintenance of the Mumbai International Airport.  A case under forgery, cheating has also been booked against 9 other companies for their connivance with promoters GVK, officials said.

In 2006, GVK entered a joint venture with the Airport Authority of India. Under the private-public partnership, GVK was allocated the job to upkeep and maintain the Mumbai International Airport. This led to the setting up of Mumbai International Airport Limited. The group is alleged to misusing funds of AAI for personal benefit.

The lid blew off when CBI was informed that promoters of GVK group inflated expenditure bills in connection with MIAL. “They (GVK) shifted the staff of the head offices of the GVK group at Hyderabad and the employees of their group companies, on the payrolls of MIAL, Mumbai. This was in contravention to the agreement. The employees who had no connection with MIAL were paid salaries causing revenue loss to AAI” the FIR mentioned.

Further, investigators found, that premium retail area in the Mumbai airport was allocated to companies owned by GVK’s family members, employees at exorbitantly low rates thereby reducing the revenue of MIAL. The companies who bagged the offers include, M/s Rockline Solutions Private Limited and M/s International Airport Hotels  & resorts Pvt limited.

The CBI said, ” Promoters of GVK group abused the agreement by entering into other terms with a company owned by family/ employees to book the train/air travel and hotel tickets. One such company is Orbit travel and tours private limited. The fraud was done in connivance with AAI staffers”, CBI said.

The CBI has booked a case under section  120 B, 420, 467, 468, 471 of Indian Penal Code, and 13 (2) r/w 13 (1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act against the group’s Chairman, his son and 9 other companies.

How the money meant for the development of the Airport was siphoned off?

CBI’s investigation found that around 200 acres of underdeveloped land parcels in Mumbai, located around the airport were given to MIAL by AAI for development and revenue generation. The MIAL entered into a bogus work contract during 2017-18 with  Aishwaryagiri Construction private limited, Kotia Enterprises limited, SBK trade & infrastructure project (India) Limited, M/s Richa Industries Limited, M/s Nice project limited and Aditi Infrabuild and services limited. The contract was allocated on the pretext of real estate development.

MIAL transferred the funds to them but these contracts have never been executed on the ground. “Using bogus Operandi  Rs 310 Crore have been fraudulently siphoned off. The nine companies have availed fake input tax credit (ITC). A case has been filed against the nine. The CBI is also investigating several other fake invoices raised by MIAL.

Meanwhile, in response to the case, the spokesperson for Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL)  said, “MIAL is surprised to note the registration of case by CBI against MIAL and others. MIAL would have provided every assistance had the agency sought explanation or any document even if a preliminary enquiry had been initiated. MIAL is a transparent and responsible corporate entity which is committed to co-operate with the agency in its investigation to arrive at the truth.”

Coreena Suares

Coreena Enet Suares is the Editor of NewsMeter. Her stories have been published in the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper and the Asian Age. Coreena began her career as a News Anchor. Throughout her journey, she has been able to build a strong network with people from all walks of life. She is an alumnus of Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists- Research and Investigation, a flagship initiative of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

Coreena is also a certified fact-checker by Google India Initiative. She has attended the 'Defence Correspondents Course 2019, through which she visited Indo- Pak border, besides traveling on a War-ship and insight into operations of Fighter aircraft. Coreena's focus areas are anti-crime investigation agencies and Defence reporting.

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