Builder, bureaucrats in CBI net for Rs.1.68 bn fraud

April 8th, 2008 - 8:38 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Mumbai, April 8 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launched raids on a leading private builder and senior bureaucrats in connection with a Rs.1.68 billion fraud on the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). The raids follow cases filed against Niranjan Hiranandani, his brother Surendra and four top officials of the EPF department March 29.

According to a high-ranking CBI official in Mumbai, the raids targeting four senior EPF officials and five Hiranandani Builders group companies started Tuesday morning and were continuing till late in the evening.

He, however, declined to reveal details of the operations in progress at an unspecified number of sites, including the homes and offices of the bureaucrats and the builder.

In 2003-2004, a team of EPF officials had visited the Hiranandani group offices in northeast Mumbai since it had not deposited a sum of Rs.1.68 billion to the government, as required under the law.

“Later, the matter was ’sorted out’ between the PF department and the builder. When we learnt of it we carried out detailed investigations and came to the prima facie conclusion of a fraud in the entire matter,” the CBI official told IANS.

One of the targeted officials was said to be on deputation to New Delhi, but that could not be independently confirmed.

In March, Hiranandani had announced setting up of a Rs.7.50 billion multi-services special economic zone (SEZ) spread over 250 acres outside Hyderabad in collaboration with Lahari Infrastructures Ltd.

The total planned investment in the project, named Hiranandani Upscale, was to be around Rs.120 billion over the next 14 years.

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