The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday, August 14, attached assets worth Rs 134.38 crores of an Ahmedabad-based firm Aatash Norcontrol Limited (ANL). This was done under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) scam.
The attached assets are in the form of the plant, machinery, computer and computer software, land and building worth Rs 90.62 crores and bank balances in the form of fixed deposits of Rs 43.76 crores.
ANL is a joint venture between Indian registered company Aatash Computers and Communications Private Limited, and Norway-based Kongsberg Norcontrol IT AS. ANL is engaged in the construction and operation of Vessel Traffic and Ports Management System (VTPMS) and provides navigation services to the vessels.
An FIR was registered by CID-Crime, Gandhinagar, against ANL and others for allegedly defrauding Rs 134.38 crores of the GMB.
As per the ED officials, the money laundering investigation revealed that ANL was awarded a contract by GMB for building and operating VTPMS for the Gulf of Khambhat. But ANL submitted an overstated cost of the project to GMB, thereby, misleading them into fixing higher tariff rates for navigation of vessels.
After VTPMS infrastructure became fully operational in August 2010, ANL started collecting the VTS fees and charges from the vessels as per the concession agreement.