Police said the deputy commandant, Praveen Yadav, was the kingpin of the gang, posed an IPS officer on deputation as a NSG group commander at the Manesar campus, and promised the victims to provide construction contracts for various work on the campus. The NSG is part of the Indian special forces under the ministry of home affairs.
Praveen allegedly provided the four owners of construction firms with letters of intent and copies of fake tender contracts and, according to the police, also made them deposit money in an account with a private bank, in the name of “Office of GC (Garrison), Station HQ, NSG, Manesar”, on the pretext that it was earnest money for tender allocation.
Police identified the other suspects as Praveen’s wife Mamta Yadav, sister Ritu Raj Yadav and his friend Dinesh Kumar.
Police said the contractors have complained against eight people, and they are still verifying facts based on which others will be arrested.
Police said they recovered ₹13.81 crore in cash from Praveen, and six high-end cars from the four suspects.
KK Rao, Gurugram Police commissioner, said on January 8, they received an online complaint from one Monesh Israni, who alleged that he had been duped by an officer posted at NSG Manesar campus, and who was taking care of construction contracts. Three more contractors later lodged police complaints, claiming that they too were duped of money by a man posing as an officer of the elite counter-terrorism force.
“We conducted a preliminary investigation and registered a case. We formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising the crime team of Manesar police station and the economic offence wing, under assistant commissioner of police (crime) Preet Pal Sangwan, and arrested Praveen, the kingpin, from Zirakpur in Punjab on Wednesday night, where he was living in a rented accommodation, and recovered cash from that house. He was posted on deputation as deputy commandant at NSG, Manesar campus, until May 2021,” he said.
Police confirmed that Praveen is a deputy commandant of BSF who was on deputation at NSG, Manesar, and misused his ID card to gain access to the campus after his tenure was over.
Rao said during questioning, the names of his wife, sister and a middleman were revealed, following which they were also arrested from Manesar on Thursday.
ACP Sangwan said Praveen was posted to NSG on deputation for three years till May 2021. “He had lost over ₹60 lakh in share trading and was in heavy debt. He planned to dupe people taking advantage of his access to the NSG campus in Manesar. He had applied for premature retirement but the approval was pending from headquarters,” he said.
Sangwan said Praveen was in charge of fencing, solar plants and other construction-related work while he was posted to NSG. “He was introduced to Dinesh Kumar, and later joined hands with him and started offering people fake tenders for construction work at NSG,” he said.
Police said Praveen opened a fake private company and made his wife Mamta and sister Ritu Raj Yadav the directors. Police said Ritu works with a private bank in Sector 83 in Manesar and lives on the NSG campus with her husband who is an assistant deputy commandant. The police said they have not given NSG official a clean chit, and that they will also check if he had any involvement in the scam.
Ritu helped her brother open the bank accounts, said police.
Sangwan said Praveen met contractors, offered them tenders and gave them forged letters of intent and pay orders to start the work. “He duped four contractors of ₹37 crore, ₹65 crore, ₹18 crore and ₹20 crore respectively. All the victims had pay orders, work allotment letters and work permits with NSG letterheads,” he said.
The victims became suspicious after he allegedly asked them for more money to offer them construction work at a training centre allegedly located near Hyderabad in Telangana.
Police said when they investigated they found that there was no civil work in the pipeline and that Praveen was planning to flee the country.
Police said it all started in May last year when Praveen asked the contractors to apply for a tender to construct a chain-link fence. Praveen returned the amount the contractors paid as security deposit, allegedly to gain their trust, and later asked them to pay 60% of the tender amount.
“The contractors were asked to bid for the installation of electric poles, PPGI-coated seats and pipes, GST certificate, cancelled cheques–an amount totalling over ₹150 crore,” said Sangwan.
Sangwan said Yadav would show his identity card, photograph, designation and visit the campus on multiple occasions with the contractors to win their trust. “He would present his NSG identity card with his photograph and designation as group commander. The contractors believed him as it is not possible to enter the NSG campus without being posted there, and all the security officials knew him,” said Sangwan, adding that he forged NSG seals to issue the allotment letters.
All the suspects were produced before a duty magistrate on Thursday. Praveen was remanded to six days in police custody, and the others were remanded to four days in police custody.
NSG and BSF could not be reached for comments despite multiple attempts.