CBI begins investigation into Port of Mundra accounting fraud

The Central Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation into a scam that skipped accounting for the Central Warehousing Corporation while registering the entries and exits of containers at the Port of Mundra.

CBI began investigating after a Navi Mumbai company, which won the contract to handle and transport containers at Mundra port, and four officials from the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) allegedly siphoned Rs 29 million.

According to a FIR filed with the CBI Gandhinagar office on March 16, CWC Speedy Multimodes Ltd, which is headquartered at CBD Belapur in Navi Mumbai, as the strategic alliance management operator for the transportation of containers, had maintenance and operation of the container appointed Freight Station (CFS) in Mundra.

“The contract was awarded in December 2019, after which the company was required to deposit all payments and fees collected from users into CWC’s bank account,” the FIR reads.

The Managing Director of Speedy Multimodes Ltd and other officials invoiced on behalf of their own company rather than CWC.

“An investigation revealed that invoices were issued from 1 January 2020 to 19 February 2020 on behalf of CWC and from 20 February 2020 to July 2022 on behalf of Speedy Multimodes Ltd,” the FIR reads.

The invoices were dishonestly checked and certified by CFS (Container Freight Station) managers, she added.

CBI officials said revenue of Rs 24.46 crore was lost and when GST of Rs. 4.22 crore is added the value of the fraud reaches Rs 28.69 crore.

CBI appointed Speedy Multimodes Ltd Managing Director Ashish Chandana and the company’s Senior Manager, HR (Admin) Dipak Bhowmik along with CWC officials and CFS managers Rohit Upadhyay, Paul Ignatius, BB Chaudhary and an accountant named Gopal Devikar to the FIR .

The CBI booked the six under IPC sections on criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy charges along with charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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