From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

Updated: Nov 13, 2019, 13:24 | Sherlin Rajan
  • Pic/Suresh KK

    PMC Scam: The Rs 4,355-crore Punjab-Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) bank fraud left many people in the lurch, as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) placed directions on the bank, and account holders could not withdraw their money. The scam unfolded after the bank's former MD Joy Thomas and chairman Waryam Singh were taken into custody by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), unearthing its nexus with the real estate development company HDIL. This scam resulted in six people losing their lives, either by shock, committing suicide or illnesses, as they were not able to access their own money for their treatment. Pic/Suresh KK

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    Vyapam Scam: The Vyapam scam refers to irregularities in exams held by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, also called Vyavasayik Pareeksha Mandal or Vyapam, for admission in professional courses and state services that were unearthed in 2013. It involved 13 exams inlcuding medical students and government employees in which candidates bribed officials and rigged exams by deploying imposters to write their papers. The scam, which began in 1995, involves politicians, senior officials and businessmen. Even as police complaints were being filed in this regard throughout the late 1990s, the first FIR was filed in 2000. A series of natural deaths of 41 people, that were said to be both accidents and suicides were also seen in the case, although the Madhya Pradesh government were denied the allegations. Many of the accused of the scam were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment. (Representational image)

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    Railway Recruitment Scam: In 2010, the Central Bureau of Investigation claimed to have unearthed a multi-crore-railway recruitment scam and arrested eight persons, including son of the chairman of the railway recruitment board, Mumbai, for allegedly leaking exam paper for money. The exams conducted were for the induction of Assistant Loco Pilot (ALP) and on June 13 for Assistant Station Master (ASM). The scam was unearthened after simultaneous raids were conducted in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Raipur, Kolkata and Hyderabad.  

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    Rotomac Scam: A consortium of seven banks had extended loans worth Rs 2,919 crore to Rotomac Global Pvt Limited from 2008 onwards, according to a CBI FIR. The amount swelled to Rs 3,695 crore, including the accrued interest, because of repeated defaults on payment, the agency has claimed. The directors of the company Vikram Kothari and his son Rahul, were arrested in this case.

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    AgustaWestland Chopper deal: In February 2010, India signed a contract worth Rs 3,546 crore with AgustaWestland to supply 12 AW-101 helicopters to the Indian Air Force. These aircrafts were procured to fly VVIPs like the President, the Prime Minister, the Vice President and others. The AW-101s were supposed to replace Soviet Mi-8 helicopters, which were being used to transport the VVIPs, as they had completed their technical life. On January 1, 2014, India terminated the Rs 3,600 crore-deal on allegations of payment of kickbacks and involvement of middlemen in the acquisition process by the Anglo-Italian firm. AgustaWestland had already supplied three choppers to India and the delivery of the remaining nine was put on hold after then Defence Minister AK Antony ordered a CBI probe. According to Antony, the then UPA government instituted proceedings for encashment of securities/bank guarantees. This litigation finally succeeded in June 2014 and the Indian government recovered an amount of Rs.2,068 crore against payment of Rs.1,620 crore.

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Bofors Scam: The Bofors scandal broke in 1987 and Quattrocchi was accused of playing middleman in the deal. The ruling Congress Party came under severe criticism over the scam, eventually losing the elections in 1989. In July 1993 Quattrocchi was officially named as an accused in the case. Veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan’s name had also cropped up the scam that got cleared after 25 years in 2012. In 2013, Quattrocchi died following a heart attack in Milan. In May 2019, the CBI said that it withdraws the plea but also said that the probe would continue in the case.

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    Solar panel scam:  This scam occurred in 2013 when a solar panel company hired two women to make political contacts that are linked to the Kerala chief minister’s office and cheated several influential people of over. They tried lobbying Kerala government, then lead by INC’s Oommen Chandy who was accused of taking Rs.5.50 crore as bribe by the key accused in the case, Biju Radhakrishnan  and Saritha S Nair.

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Madhu Koda: The former Jharkhand chief minister was involved in multiple corruption cases, such as Rs.2,500 crore worth money laundering, amassing assets beyond known sources of income and taking kickbacks while awarding mining contracts. Koda was arrested in 2009 and was released on bail in 2013. The CBI is still investigation the cases against him.

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Nirav Modi-PNB scam: In February 2018, a massive Rs 11,400 crore fraud was unearthed in a PNB branch in Mumbai after which the Enforcement Directorate launched a nationwide raid on the offices, showrooms and workshops of billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi. ED teams carried out simultaneous raids on Modi's offices, showrooms and diamond workshops in Mumbai, Surat (Gujarat) and New Delhi. ED officials landed at Firestar Diamond Pvt Ltd. head office in Bharat Diamond Bourse, in Bandra Kurla Complex, Modi's private office at Kohinoor City in Kurla West, his showroom and boutique in Fort in south Mumbai and a workshop in Peninsula Business Park in Lower Parel. After a series of appearances in a court in the UK regarding his extradition, Modi recently threatened to commit suicide if sent back to India.

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Mira Road call centre scam: In 2016, the police busted overnight what could possibly be the biggest impersonation call scam in India and detained over 500 people from nine call centres in Mira Road for cheating thousands, primarily foreign nationals, through the fraud. The international racket being run from a Mira Road call centre placed calls to US citizens posing as IRS (Internal Revenue Service) officials. Several of those arrested were college dropouts or unemployed youths, who stayed in the job for the handsome salary. The kingpin Sagar Thakkar alias Shaggy was arrested at the Mumbai airport in April 2017

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Saradha Group financial scandal: One of the biggest scandals to rock India, especially West Bengal the Saradha Group financial scandal was unearthed in 2013. The total amount involved was 40,000 crores, and the perpetrators were Kunal Ghosh, Sudipto Sen, Madan Mitra and many more. The scandal came about after the collapse of a Ponzi scheme being run by the Saradha Group, a consortium of over 200 private companies that was believed to be running collective investment schemes popularly known as chit funds. As a result of this scam, Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh (All India Trinamool Congress), the Odisha MP Ramchandra Hansda (Biju Janata Dal) MLA Pravat Tripathy (Biju Janata Dal), former Odisha MLAs Subarna Naik (Biju Janata Dal), Hitesh Kumar Bagarti (Bharatiya Janata Party) and All India Trinamool Congress MLA Madan Mitra were also arrested in relation to this case

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Satyam scam: The 'Satyam Computer Services, scandal was a corporate scandal dealing with the company Satyam Computer Services in 2009. Premier investigating agency CBI was ordered to probe the accounting fraud in Satyam Computer, whose founder Ramalinga Raju had disclosed cooking books over 40 days ago. The fraud involved Rs 14,000 crore. The CBI investigated the case and Raju, along with 10 other members faced imprisonment.

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Coal Allocation Scam (Coalgate): Coal allocation scam also known as Coalgate is a major political scandal concerning the Indian government's allocation of the nation's coal deposits to public sector enterprise (PSEs) and private companies. A total of 70 coal mines or blocks were allocated between 1993 and 2005, 53 in 2006, 52 in 2007, 24 in 2008, 16 in 2009 and 1 in 2010. In all, 216 blocks were given between 1993 and 2010. Of these, 24 were taken away at different points in time, effectively leaving the total number of coal permits at 194. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that coal blocks allocated by the government between 1993 and 2010 were illegal.

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Adarsh scam: Mumbai's Adarsh housing society scam rocked Maharashtra and forced the then Maharashtra state chief minister Ashok Chavan to resign in 2010. The infamous Adarsh housing society was constructed in Colaba for war heroes and war widows. But top Army officials allegedly colluded with politicians and bureaucrats to break rules and allot flats to themselves at below market rates. The scam had kicked up a huge political storm, and was highlighted by the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Uttar Pradesh food grain scam: Uttar Pradesh food grain scam took place between years 2002 and 2010. the Uttar Pradesh government admitted that a scam worth 30 crores, in which foodgrain meant for the poor, under the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) was being diverted to the open market by ration shop owners and officials. Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati were eventually held responsible. On November 3, 2008, when the CBI took up the nine FIRs lodged in Ballia and Lakhimpur Kheri, it found that a total of 175 persons listed as accused including 18 officers of the state civil services cadre

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Common Wealth Games Scam: Suresh Kalamadi, Sheila Dikshit were held responsible in this scam that was unearthed in 2010. It was estimated that of the 70,000 crores that were to be spent on the games, only half was spent while the rest was amassed. The Central Vigilance Commission had found discrepancies in the in tenders relating to the payment of funds to non-existent parties, willful delay in the execution of contracts, over inflated prices and faults in the purchase of equipment, which pointed to misappropriation of funds. In January 2018, The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached a construction firm's assets worth Rs 11.28 crore in connection with its money laundering probe

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    2G scam: One of the most well-known scams in the recent past the 2G scam was unearthed in 2008, and involved 176,000crores. The accused would auction the communication bandwidth for lower than market value and the people accused were Nira Radia, A. Raja, M. K. Kanimozhi. Both have been charged and imprisoned and have been in Tihar jail for 15 months and 5 months respectively.

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Fodder Scam: The fodder scam unearthed in 1996 involved the embezzlement of about 9.4 billion (equivalent to Rs 34 billion or US$520 million in 2016) from the government treasury in Bihar. Those implicated were Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav and former Chief Minister, Jagannath Mishra. This event ended the reign of Lalu Prasad Yadav as the Chief Minister. On September 2013, Lalu Prasad Yadav was convicted in four cases of the multi-crore rupees fodder scam. The cases relate to illegal withdrawal of money from government treasuries in different districts for the animal husbandry department in undivided Bihar in the 1990s.

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Stamp paper scam: A 200 billion (US$3.1 billion) stamp paper scam was head by Abdul Karim Telgi who was jailed for 30 years for his crimes. It is alleged that between 1993 and 2002, Abdul Karim Telgi appointed 350 people as agents who sold the fakes to bulk purchasers, including banks, insurance companies, and stock brokerage firms. An aspect of the scam that grabbed headlines was that it required the involvement of a number of police officers and government officials. In 2006 Abdul Karim Telgi and many others were sentenced to 30 years of rigorous imprisonment. The Income Tax Department requested that Telgi's property be confiscated to pay the fine. Abdul Karim Telgi died on October 23, 2017 of multiple organ failure.

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Kargil coffin scam: After the Kargil war in 1999, there were allegations that there was corruption in the purchase of coffins for the martyred soldiers by the BJP-led Government Of India. The government had lost 1,87,000 dollars in the entire scam. The CBI filed charges against several Army officers in 2009, but later found no evidence of corruption.

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Ice cream parlour sex scandal: This is one of the longest-running scandals in Kerala, South India that first grabbed headlines in 1997. The sex scandal was infamously known as "Ice Cream Parlour sex case" following a complaint by a Kozhikode-based NGO, Anweshi that an ice cream parlour was being run as a brothel and a number of girls were being sexually exploited there by high and mighty ones. The names of several politicians, judicial officers, and other VIPs figured in the scam. It was further revealed that a number of politicians were the owner of this brothel, fueling accusations that investigations in this matter have been stalled due to the involvement of several ministers

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    Harshad Shantilal Mehta was an Indian stockbroker who grabbed headlines for the notorious BSE security scam of 1992. Harshad Mehta, along with his associates was accused of manipulating the rise in the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in 1992 by taking advantage of the many loopholes in the banking system. Mehta and co. drained off funds from inter-bank transactions. They bought huge amounts of shares at a premium causing the Sensex to rise dramatically. Harshad Mehta died on December 31, 2001. In 2017, a special court convicted four bank officers for criminal breach of trust and falsifications of accounts in a 25-year-old multi-crore securities scam cases

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  • From PMC, PNB to Bofors, 23 big scams that rocked India

    After Harshad Mehta, Ketan Parekh scam rocked the Bombay Stock Exchange from 1998-2001. A confidential report by the Intelligence Bureau revealed that banned stockbroker Ketan Parekh masterminded a bull run playing with the stocks of major realty companies. Parekh and his associates cornered shares of several realty companies and then offloaded the stock to fund managers in the market. Ketan Parekh, an accused in several cases of stock market manipulation, was convicted by a special CBI court in Mumbai in 2014 for cheating and sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment.

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About The Gallery

The PMC Bank scam involving money swindles in huge proportions is one of the many scams that rocked India. Here's a look at the top 23 frauds.

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