AItel Was Cheated By Indian Suppliers--Director

2671 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The committee investigating the botched local council bicycle deal heard of Monday that the Indian company contracted to deliver 70,000 bicycles was cheated by its suppliers.

The committee investigating the botched local council bicycle deal heard of Monday that the Indian company contracted to deliver 70,000 bicycles was cheated by its suppliers.

Amman Industrial Tools and equipment (Aitel) was reportedly cheated by three Indians who claimed they would supply the bicycles to Uganda. The permanent secretary Ministry of Local government, John Kashaka Muhanguzi confirmed the reports as told by Arjunan Rajasekaran, the now sole Director of Aitel.

In a letter to the Indian Chamber of commerce, Rajasekaran blames C.N Chakravarthy, V.S. Vijay and Sanjiv Vaid who forged the bill of lading. He was shocked that the suppliers fabricated the bill of lading because one of the signatures belonged to Chakravarthy. Rajasekaran says this was a scam to defraud the company of 2 million dollars.

The three suppliers had told Rajasekaran that about 30,000 bicycles had been shipped from Mumbai to Mombasa, and would reach in 25 days. The bill of lading would then be produced to Bank of Uganda for payment of 1.7 million dollars. The money was later transferred to two companies in Hong Kong but there were no bicycles on the ground. The matter has since been reported to Indian Police who are carrying out investigations.

This information was also confirmed by Patrick Bagarukayo, a suspect in the bicycle deal.

Kashaka Muhanguzi also told the Committee that Aitel is committed to deliver the bicycles besides hurdles experienced so far. He says already three containers are at the Port in Mombasa with 400 bicycles each. This brings the total shipment to 1,200 bicycles in Mombasa awaiting delivery in Uganda.

The parliamentary Committee on Local Government continues with the investigations.