NGO denounces astronomical millionaire fraud in the Housing Development Fund

A public procurement process at the Housing Development Fund (FFH) caused a loss of 14 million US dollars for the state, the Center for Public Integrity (CIP) revealed today.

In 2013, the state received a loan of 47 million US dollars from India's Exim Bank to build 1,200 houses in the provinces of Tete (400), Cabo Delgado (400) and Zambézia (400).

The process for building the houses was entrusted to the HFF, and was part of the 2016 Economic and Social Plan. So far, the project has not been carried out. Debt repayments should have started in November 2023.

According to the CIPIn 2014 she was hired, after a international procurementin Tete, an Indian company, Ultra Home Constructions Ltda, of the Amrapali group, to go ahead with the project.

Once the procedures had been carried out, the HFF advanced the construction company 13.922 million dollars, about 30% of the financing. This happened "after the company presented an advance payment guarantee and a performance guarantee, both from International Trade Bank Ltd, which, according to the company, was based in Italy".

According to CIP, after the tranche the project never went ahead, and the state took all the necessary steps, culminating in the unilateral termination of the contract and the discovery in 2017 that International Trade Bank Ltda never existed.

"The lack of prior inspection of the information provided by bidders, particularly foreign bidders, is an error in the bidding process. procurementThis is due to the fact that it did not comply with Article 27(3) of the Regulations for the Contracting of Public Works Contracts, the Supply of Goods and the Provision of Services to the State," notes the CIP, which foresees losses for the state, in addition to the interest on the debt.

It seems, however, that the scam could have been avoided since "FFH hired an Indian company that already had a history of fraud in the construction sector and was not well reputed". The company even caused a slowdown in the Indian real estate market by never completing projects between 2009 and 2015. On the other hand, the Court found that the company's assets increased from 364,669.05 US dollars in 2011 to 3,586,680.05 dollars in 2015.

"Since 2014, the group's chairman, Anil Kamar Sharma, has also been investigated for the murder of the former secretary of the Balika Vidyapeeth educational institute, Sharad Chandra, who was killed in August of that year," says the CIP.

"In July 2019, the Indian High Court ordered the cancellation of the company's registration under real estate law and transferred the Amrapali Group's pending projects to the National Buildings Constructions Corporation Limited (NBCC), a public sector company under India's Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs24. But there is nothing about the '1200 houses' project in Mozambique," he asks.

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