Biggest scams of India post its independence – part 4

A massive list presented by Voxytalksy on the biggest scams of India post its independence
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Mantri Housing Scam (2016)

Sunil Mantri of Mantri Housing was paid money in advance for a property with a party but failed to deliver the plot. Later, both parties filed consent terms after which all the cases were withdrawn. It was promised that Mantri would pay Rs 1, 67, 25,000 through 21 cheques. Mantri issued 21 cheques but Rs 49 lakh was not paid. Mantri has not appeared in front of the court since a new case was filed against him for the Rs 49 lakh repayment default.

AgustaWestland chopper scam (2017)

In early 2013, investigations began into allegations of bribery and corruption involving several senior officials and a helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland surrounding the purchase of a new fleet of helicopters. The scandal has also been referred to as the Chopper scam or Choppergate. Several Indian politicians and military officials had been accused of accepting bribes from AgustaWestland in order to win the ₹36 billion (US$550 million) Indian contract for the supply of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters which were are intended to perform VVIP duties for the President of India and other important state officials.

Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi was alleged by Italian prosecutors to have received kickbacks from the deal. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ahmed Patel, Pranab Mukherjee, M. Veerappa Moily, Oscar Fernandes, M. K. Narayanan and Vinay Singh were also named in a list. In 2013, the then Defence Minister A.K. Antony confirmed corruption allegations by stating: “Yes, corruption has taken place in the helicopter deal and bribes have been taken. The CBI is pursuing the case very vigorously.” As of June 2014, the Indian government has recovered a total amount of Rs. 2,068 crore and has recovered around ₹1,620 crore (45% of the total contract value Rs. 3,600 crores) it had paid to AgustaWestland.

On 8 April 2016, the Milan Court of Appeal, convicted helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland’s executive Giuseppe Orsi to four years’ imprisonment for paying a €30 million bribe to Indian politicians, bureaucrats, and Indian Air Force officials. On 9 December 2016, the CBI arrested former Indian Air Force Chief S.P. Tyagi along with his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan for allegedly accepting bribes. On 16 December 2016, the Italian Supreme Court of Cassazione canceled the April 2016 conviction sentence and ordered a retrial to be held again in Milan. On January 8, 2018, the third Court of Appeals of Milan finally acquitted the defendants on all charges.

Jatin Mehta Scam (2017)

On April 5, 2017, the CBI registered six separate cases against Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Limited, and Forever Precious Jewellery and Diamonds Limited, and their chief promoter Jatin Mehta for allegedly cheating three government banks to the tune of Rs. 1,530 Crore. He is currently absconding from India.

Punjab National Bank Scam (2018)

The bank Fraud Case relates to the alleged signing of fraudulent Letter of Undertakings worth ₹11,600 crore (USD 1.77 billion dollars) by PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai. The fraudulent transactions are allegedly linked to the jeweler Nirav Modi (of Firestar Diamonds) and his uncle Mehul Choksi (of Gitanjali Jewels), against whom a complaint has been filed with the Central Bureau of Investigation. Three Jewellers – Gitanjali Gems Ltd and its subsidiaries Gili and Nakshatra are also being investigated. PNB’s core banking system was allegedly bypassed to raise LOUs to overseas branches of other Indian banks, including Allahabad Bank, Axis Bank, and Union Bank of India, using the international financial communication system, SWIFT.

Rotomac Scam (2018)

In February 2018 the CBI filed an FIR against Rotomac which has allegedly cheated a consortium of seven banks by siphoning off bank loans of Rs2,919 crore. Including interest, the amount comes to Rs3,695 crore.

What could India do with the over Rs. 73 lakh crores lost in scams?

In retrospect, a person can today feed on roughly Rs 100 /day, whereas if we compare it 1947, 100 people could be fed in 1947 on the same amount. If you count the number of zeroes in the Rs. 73 lakh crores, it would come down to roughly 12 zeroes and it amounts to nearly 11 trillion dollars! That is enough to alleviate India of its poverty and malnutrition issues for sure! Furthermore, if this kind of money was used to help build houses for the poor, there would be no poverty in our country and no one would be homeless!

According to an answer on LinkedIn, if India had not lost the above-mentioned amount to scams, we could:

  • Build:4 crore primary healthcare centers. That’s at least 3 for every village, at a cost of Rs 30 lakhs each.
  • Build:1 lakh Kendriya Vidyalayas at a cost of Rs 3.02 crores each, with two sections from Class VI to XII.
  • Construct:6 crore low-cost houses assuming a cost of Rs 5 lakh per unit.
  • Set up: 2,703 coal-based power plants of 600 MW each. Each costs Rs 2,700 crores.
  • Supply: 12 lakh CFL bulbs. That’s enough light for each of India’s 6 lakhs villages
  • Construct:6 lakh km of two-lane highways. That’s a road around India’s perimeter 97 times over.
  • Clean up: 50 major rivers for the next 121 years, at Rs 1,200 crores a river every year.
  • Launch: 90 NREGA-style schemes, each worth roughly Rs 81,111 crores.
  • Announce: 121 more loan waiver schemes. All of them worth Rs 60,000 crores.
  • Give: Rs 56,000 to every Indian. Even better, give Rs 1.82 lakh to 40 crore Indians living Below Poverty Level.
  • Hand out:8 crore Tata Nanos to 60.8 crore people. Or four times as many laptops.
  • Grow the GDP: The scam money is 27% more than our GDP of Rs 53 lakh crore.

Imagine the amount of money we have lost to fraudsters and corruption in our country! We could have put it to such good use, but the red tape and greed of a few makes the entire country languish for want of money!


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