The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has lodged corruption cases against two officials of the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), Mumbai, and others for cheating the company of Rs 70 million, an official said on Thursday.
The accused - BB Chaudhary, deputy general manager, GSM service, and V. Gurumurthy, assistant general manager, sales, besides nine MTNL distributors - have been charged with activating over 300,000 fake mobile phone connections.
According to the official, between June 2008-Feb 2009, the MTNL had floated a scheme named SIM-75 in which SIM cards of Rs 75 were provided to MTNL distributors on an upfront commission of Rs 50 per card.
As per the scheme, the distributors were entitled to a commission of Rs.150 for each activated connection up to 600 connections, Rs 200 for 600-2,000 connections and Rs.250 for 2,000-and-above connections.
However, this was subject to a minimum 100 activations by the distributors and recharge of Rs.100 on the activated connections.
However, the MTNL officials implemented the scheme without ensuring the fulfilment of the conditions for the incentives.
As a result, the distributors activated thousands of fake connections on the basis of forged and fictitious customer application forms and claimed huge amounts of commission against the fake connections.
The MTNL officials, conspiring with the distributors forwarded and sanctioned the claims - for around 300,000 fake connections under the scheme - wilfully ignoring the fake nature of the activation.
The CBI raided and conducted searches at the offices and residential premises of the accused MTNL employees besides the business premises of nine distributors.
The sleuths have seized large number of incriminating documents and computer hard disks which were used for activating the fake connections.
Further investigations against the officials, distributors and other unknown conspirators is underway, the official said.