Sources have revealed that Maldives Transport and Contracting Company Plc (MTCC) had tasked India-based MM Exports to purchase excavators for the company, in spite of their high prices.
MM Export is a company that is believed to be closely associated with MTCC CEO Adam Azim. MM Export has been given several high value projects, amounting to several millions, since Adam Azim took over the company.
MM Export presented the highest bid for the excavator bid, first announced last year. The bid was US$ 2,136,000 or MVR 32.9 million.
However, SENOK had offered a bid of US$ 1,520,000 or MVR 23.5 million for the eight excavators. This bid was stricken as a non-responsive bid, citing that delivery period and payment terms were unacceptable.
The loss from the purchase amounts to MVR 9.4 million or around US$ 600,000.
MM Exports was to deliver the excavators within 30-45 days. However, they were delivered way past that period, as reported by an anonymous source in the company. Payments are to be made within a 36-month period.
SENOK had offered to dispatch five excavators within 120 days, and the rest within a 150-day period. Payments were to be made once all excavators were delivered.
“They bought Kobelco excavators. SENOK is the authorized agent for Kobelco. Looking at all aspects, SENOK deal was better. Delivery period was very a reasonable duration. MM’s delivery period is not a realistic one, they delivered after the given period,” the official said.
Clear graft, all losses to the company
The official said all the deals involving MM Exports were done with clear cuts given to Adam Azim and other senior figures at MTCC.
“MM Exports consistently submits the highest bids. Yet they win each and every bid. Gives room to speculate,” he said.
He also revealed that Caterpillar, a long-term supplier for the company, had also bid for excavators. This bid was not even accepted. Tasking the bid to Caterpillar, he said, would make much more sense, taking into account operational and maintenance costs.
“The MM excavators have been repaired multiple times. Bought them at an inflated price, and now spending millions on maintenance. Overall losses to the company,” he added.
Technical team duped
After Caterpillar and Kobelco’s authorized agent were stricken from the bid, the senior figures at MTCC took to duping the technical team, as reported by the official.
“The technical team was told that Kobelco prices were the lowest. Based on that they were told the company was going with Kobelco, with the involvement of senior figures. Technical team was led this way,” he said.
The official said the technical team was rightly upset when the deception was detected. However, by that time, the deal was done and tasked to MM Exports.