The management of Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), which is already being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation for the Tatra truck deal, has been caught napping in another case: Three companies which promised to supply iron ore to BEML have vanished with Rs. 30 crore.

BEML General Manager T.K. Sreekumar has filed a complaint against the three companies, three years after they disappeared with the money. Not only that, the management had not carried out any background check on these companies before entering into an agreement, the police said.

Mr. Sreekumar who heads the trading wing of BEML in Bangalore in his complaint with the Silver Jubilee Park police alleged that Vaman Kumar representing Nordbell Company Limited based in Pune, Prasanna V. Ghotage from Belgaum and Manoj Dhirajlal Rajni from Goa signed a joint agreement on March 2010 to sell 89.5 tonnes of iron ore to BEML.

Under the agreement, BEML paid up at least Rs 30 crore on various dates based on the production of documents which purported to show purchase of iron ore from their source.

When Mr. Ghotage, who was to supply the material, failed to deliver the goods on time, BEML officials tried to contact him, but he kept delaying delivery citing lame excuses, the police said.

When BEML did not get the shipment even after one year, instead of doing a background check, officials approached Ghotage on November 2011. But he managed to ward them off saying there was an Income Tax raid on his company.

BEML instead of cancelling the MoU and taking action against him, continued to wait for Ghotage’s delivery.

After waiting for one more year, the company approached him again.

Ghotage agreed to refund the amount and issued a cheque which bounced as his account was frozen by income tax officials.

The trading division of Bangalore BEML reported the matter to its headquarters seeking permission to take legal action which was sanctioned in January this year .

The SJ Park police suspect there is an insider involvement in the scam, The cheating could not have happened without the help of insiders, the police said, adding that they were planning a full-fledged investigation into all aspects of the case.

Assistant Commissioner of Police B.N. Nyame Gowda said the case had inter-State ramifications. “We are getting more details about the background of the accused,” he said.

Ghotage is wanted in many cheating cases in Yellapur, Sirsi besides towns in Goa and Chhattisgarh. In April 2012, a city-based mining company had accused him of duping Rs. 35 crore under the promise to supply iron ore through Nordbell Commercial Limited headed by Vaman Kumar.

  • BEML files complaint against the three companies, three years after they disappeared with the money

  • Management did not carry out background checks on the firms before entering into an agreement

  • Three companies which promised to supply iron ore vanish with the sum