Despite ACB letter, BMC fails to file case against importer

After the 26/11 attack, BMC floated a tender for a total protection system for its firefighters. The tender was for 14 kinds of gear, which included jackets, belts with pouches, helmets, torches, T-shirts, trousers, shoes, gloves and axes. BMC acquired 2,320 complete firefighting suits for Rs 1.3 lakh per suit from Agarwal after he was shortlisted.

ACB said the market price of a complete suit was around Rs 50,000. While Agarwal charged Rs 11,654 from BMC for a multi-function belt with four pouches, he later charged the Maharashtra police only Rs 1,980 for the same belt with three pouches. No verification was done about such inordinate price differences, said ACB.

"We have evidence that while Agarwal participated in the tender process on behalf of Shanghai Zanray Industrial Co Ltd based in China for supplying EN469-specification jackets and trousers, documents were forged and the goods were actually imported from Shenzhen U Protect Fire Retardant Applications Co Ltd, also based in China," alleged the ACB officer.

"We came across a Letter of Authorisation given to Agarwal by Zanray to bid for the contract. However, Zanray authorities said it was not issued by them and was forged. In fact, Zanray said they were informed by the importer that they had not qualified for the tender," said the officer.

Agarwal's lawyer Ashok Sarogi said, "The allegations of forgery are not true. The company backed out when it found loopholes in the procedure."

Bomb disposal suit scam

In August 2012, the Mumbai Police Economic Offences Wing (EOW) arrested Agarwal in connection with irregularities in the purchase of bomb disposal suits in the wake of the 26/11 attack. He was subsequently released on bail.

The Maharashtra DGP's office had in December 2008 and February 2009 issued tenders for bomb disposal suits. The contract was awarded to Agarwal's firm Techno Trade Impex India Pvt Ltd of Mumbai and an order for 82 suits was placed. The entire payment of Rs 6.25 crore was made to Agarwal on March 31, 2009, though the state government was yet to receive the suits.

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