AIRPORT ‘FRAUD’ … GVK Group accused of Rs 1,000crore fraud in Mumbai international Airport-linked projects

NEWS GVK FRAUD

MUMBAI: In the land of outright loot by influential men, another scam has surfaced – this time involving the GVK Group, a big name in the aviation sector. CBI has registered a case against its chairman, Gunapati Venkata Krishna Reddy, for the group’s alleged embezzlement of the order of over Rs 1,000 crore in relation to the Mumbai International Airport projects, a deal it signed in 2006, and the alleged irregularities taking place principally between 2012 and 2018.

Cases have been registered against several Airport Authority of India officials and some private companies who worked for the projects with the GVK Group.

 It was in 2006 that a Joint Venture named Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) was formed by GVK Airport Holdings Ltd, the Airports Authority India and some foreign firms. As per the agreement it signed with AAI the same year, the Reddy firm would run the Mumbai airport and share 38.7 per cent of the revenue with the AAI every year. The rest of the amount would be used for the modernization of the airport. However, the Reddy group ate away Rs 310crore by producing bills for works that were not done, relating to the 2017-18 period.

GVK Reddy is winner of India’s prestigious national honour, Padma Bhushan, in the year 2011, when the UPA II was in power. Like several successful businessmen, he threw money to influential men in the power circuit and made big money.

The GVK Reddy Group came into prominence in the late 1990s by setting up a private power plant in the then Andhra Pradesh state. Before that, in the late 1970s, he took control of a four-star hotel, Hotel Bajara in Hyderabad, and had also made money in the erection of the Nagarjuna Sagar right bank canal. The GVK Reddy Group was involved in the construction of Bengaluru International Airport, from where it announced an exit in 2017 after selling its shares to another private agency. The Group has investment in airports sector in Indonesia as well.

“They fraudulently created forged board meeting resolutions of MIAL authorizing to keep the reserve surplus funds of MIAL as fixed deposit receipts (FDRs) with PSU banks at Hyderabad. MIAL is a Mumbai-based company but they chose to deposits the funds in the form of FDRs with Hyderabad based branch of Bank of India, said the CBI in its probe report.

Another Telugu businessman, Granthi Mallikarjuna Rao, was behind the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport project in Hyderabad, launched during the time of Nara Chandrababu Naidu as chief minister of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. IHN-NN

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