The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said that it has attached properties worth Rs 134 crore of Aatash Norcontrol Limited (ANL) in the Gujarat Maritime Board scam, officials said.
An ED official said that the agency attached the properties worth Rs 134.38 crore of Aatash Norcontrol Ltd under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He said that the attached assets are in the form of the plant, machinery, computer and computer software, land and building worth Rs 90.62 crore and bank balances in form of fixed deposits of Rs 43.75 crore.
The official said that Aatash Norcontrol Ltd is a JV between an Indian company Aatash Computers and Communications Pvt Ltd and Norway based Kongsberg Norcontrol IT AS.
This company is engaged in the construction and operation of the Vessel Traffic and Ports Management System (VTPMS) and it provides navigation services to the vessels.
The official said that the ED registered a case of money laundering on the basis of FIR registered by CID-Crime in Gandhinagar against Aatash Norcontrol Ltd (ANL) and others for committing fraud of Rs 134.38 crore with Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB).
He said that the money-laundering investigation revealed that ANL was awarded a contract by GMB for building and operating the “Vessel Traffic and Port Management System” (VTPMS) for the Gulf of Khambhat. “However, ANL submitted exaggerated cost of the project to GMB and thereby misled the GMB into fixing higher tariff rates for navigation of vessels. The VTPMS infrastructure became operational in August 2010 and thereafter, ANL started collecting the VTS Fees or charges from the vessels as per the concession agreement,” he said.
The official said that by resorting to the false and fabricated cost of the project, ANL received excess payment to the tune of Rs 134.38 crore during the concerned period.