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ED attaches assets worth Rs 12.20 crore of Vasco based shipping company

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

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 offenses under Prevention of. Anti Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

The attached properties include 35 movable properties including securities, imported machinery, bank balances and two landing barges having a total value of Rs 10.07 crore and four immovable properties having a total value of Rs 2.13 crore. The action was launched on May 10, 2024.
The charge sheet filed by CBI, Cochin reveals that during 2004-2010, JVS Rao, the then Vice Chairman of SCIL Mumbai, entered into a criminal conspiracy with M/s Vipul Shipyard Private Limited (VSPL) and its directors in this case. Decision to award shipbuilding contract to VSPL, Vasco for construction of six 200 passenger capacity landing barges for the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.

In pursuance of the said criminal conspiracy, the contract for ship construction was awarded to an unqualified firm. M/s VSPL, which did not participate in the tender process due to inadequate infrastructure, inadequate financial position and no prior experience in building similar vessels.
As a result, VSPL could not manufacture the landing barges as per the technical specifications and thus the vessels could not meet the buyer’s requirement. The builder could not even deliver the ships within the stipulated period. Even today the ship is in the possession of the builder. As a result, there was revenue loss

Rs.12.20 crore (approx.) paid by PSU.
ED investigation revealed that the accused entity and its directors fraudulently obtained shipbuilding contracts from SCIL through forged documents and received approximately Rs 12.20 crore from M/s SCIL without renewing the bank guarantee. Thus the proceeds of crime were generated by the company and diverted to personal
ED has traced the accounts of the directors and temporarily attached them.

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