15 May 2024  |   07:09am IST

ED attaches Rs 12.20 cr worth properties of Vasco-based shipping company

ED attaches Rs 12.20 cr worth properties of Vasco-based shipping company

Team Herald

PANJIM: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), Kochi zonal office has provisionally attached properties worth approximately Rs 12.20 crore of a Vasco-based shipping company under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The action was initiated against M/s Vipul Shipyard Pvt Ltd, M/s Vipul Shipping Engineering Works and its directors, and on the basis of charge sheet filed by CBI, under various sections of IPC, 1860 which are scheduled offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

The attached properties include 35 movable properties including securities, imported machineries, bank balances and two landing barges, totally valued at Rs 10.07 crore and four immovable properties valued at Rs 2.13 crore. The action was initiated on May 10, 2024.

It is observed from the charge sheet filed by CBI, Cochin, that during 2004-2010, JVS Rao, the then vice president, SCIL Mumbai entered into criminal conspiracy with M/s Vipul Shipyard Pvt Ltd (VSPL) and its directors in the matter of awarding ship building contract to VSPL, Vasco for constructing six 200 passengers capacity landing barges for Union Territory Lakshadweep. 

In pursuance of the said criminal conspiracy, ship building contract was awarded to an ineligible firm viz. M/s VSPL, which did not participate in the tender process, having inadequate infrastructure, insufficient financial position and not having any previous experience in the construction of similar vessels. 

As a result, the VSPL could not construct the landing barges in accordance with the technical specifications and thereby the vessels could not meet the buyer's requirement. The builder was also not able to deliver the vessels within the stipulated period. Even today, the vessel is in the custody of the builder. As a result, a revenue loss

of Rs 12.20 crore (approximately) sustained by the PSU.

The ED investigation revealed that the accused entity and its directors fraudulently obtained the ship building contract from SCIL by forging the documents and also thereby received nearly Rs 12.20 crore from M/s SCIL without renewing the bank guarantee. The proceeds of crime thus generated by the company and diverted into the personal

accounts of the directors have been traced by ED and provisionally attached.


Idhar Udhar