Recently, a major fraud in the name of allocating tenders released by “Uttar Pradesh Tourism” department, has been exposed. The apprehended culprits of this scam, Anuj Tripathi and Rajendra Kumar Pandey, both residents of Pratapgardh, have confessed about the involvement of Umashankar Tiwari, Manoj Tripathi and three others in this multi-million scam.
While Manoj Tiwari has been in Kaushambhi jail for a long time (he was prosecuted for an unrelated case) the other four are still absconding and police are diligently searching for them.
How the scam worked
In the second half of 2018, U.P Tourism Department released several tenders related to the supply of artifacts such as towels, E-Rickshaws, quilts, apparels, etc. in the Ardh Kumbh of 2019 ( an event considered as an ambitious pet project of U.P Chief Minister Mr. Yogi Adityanath).
One of the masterminds of this scam – Umashankar Tiwari had good relations with the employees and high ranking officers of the Tourist department( According to Anuj Tripathi, the apprehended criminal) and he provided the details of the tenders, the name of officers supervising the tender fulfillment and fake documents which were an “exact copy” of the ones being used by the department.
After getting such details and documents from Umashankar Tiwari, the group searched for a target and upon finding one, another mastermind- Manoj Tiwari communicated with him over the phone, luring him by flaunting his political connections thereby promising him the tender ( Tiwari was Zonal-Coordinator for BSP in the past). Then a meeting would be set up, with gang members posing as high-ranking officers of the department, documents were presented and a considerable sum of cash was taken as “token” (bribe for securing the tender illegally). The rest of the information and complete documents was promised to be delivered shortly after the payment.
The unanswered questions
There are many questions that police is seeking answers for –
- How had Umashankar Tiwari managed to get the details of the tender along with the paperwork and documents being used for them?
- How Manoj Tiwari had access to a mobile phone while being in jail?
The obvious answer to these questions indicates towards the involvement or “corrupt” behaviour of the employees working at Kaushambhi jail or in the U.P Tourism department, a possibility that even U.P Police isn’t denying.
The entire truth of this multi-million scam would come out in the open only when Umashankar Tiwari would be apprehended by police, a feat which UP Police will archive soon.