Cultural Hub to Scam Capital: Vadodara City’s Journey

Vadodara, where art and culture flourished under the Gaikwad kings, a city where artist Raja Ravi Verma found fame and whose pharmaceutical companies have ruled the world. The city has also given the country cricket stars like Zaheer Khan, Irfan and Yusuf Pathan.

Today, though, the city’s diverse reputation risks being clouded by a litany of scams.

The latest scam is related to Manpasand Beverages. But this isn’t a one-off thing. There is a pattern when it comes to scams in the city. Why is Vadodara, a centre of art, culture and business gradually emerging as a scam capital ?

Before investigating the possible reasons for this trend let’s take a look at the scams that have been unearthed.

One of the latest scams in the third-largest city of Gujarat is related to a fruit drink manufacturing company known as Manpasand Beverages.

Last week, MD of Manpasand Beverage, Abhishek Singh and the company’s CFO Paresh Thakkar were arrested by the GST department for alleged tax fraud of Rs 40 lakh and floating fake companies. Following their arrest, many senior officials of the company tendered their resignations. The company’s shares tanked.

Defrauding Banks

Despite being on the RBI’s default list, Diamond Power Infrastructure Ltd was provided a loan of Rs 2,600 crore.

When the scam came to light, the owner of the company, Suresh Bhatnagar and his sons Amit and Sumit Bhatnagar, were sent to prison.

2018: Sandesra Scam

In this scam, owners of Sterling Biotech, Nitin and Chetan Sandesra, created 300 shell companies, eventually fleeing the country after taking loans worth Rs 8,100 crore.

KEMROCK Scam

In 2014, the KEMROCK scam was unearthed. KEMROCK Industries and Exports Pvt Ltd took a loan of Rs 140 crore from ICICI bank. But instead of investing this money they sent it to offshore accounts. The scam was valued at Rs 303 crore. Many have been nabbed for defrauding investors.

IPO Scam

A few years ago, once again in Vadodara an IPO scam was unearthed. 122 companies were listed in the Vadodara stock exchange that ran away with crores of money from investors.

Dabba Trading Gang Exposed

In 2016, the Vadodara ‘Dabba trading’ gang was exposed. Since, ‘Dabba trading’ doesn’t take place in any recognised exchange platform. it is not under the scanner of the tax department or regulators.

Crypto Currency Scam

In 2017, Vadodara’s crypto currency scam made headlines. Praveen Patel asked people to invest Rs 17 lakh with promises of huge returns. However, when the RBI refused to validate the crypto currency, Patel fled with the money.

2019: Vadodara Education Sector Scam

In April 2019, it came to light that an individual, Prince Pathak was forging marksheets for universities. In May, it was revealed that clerks of SM University were ready to change answer sheets for money.

From Garbage Pickup to Sewage Pipes

The list of scams in Vadodara runs long. Some are under investigation while others are awaiting trial in court.

The big question, however, is what makes Vadodara a cauldron of scams ?

Do Businessmen in Vadodara Find These ‘Shortcuts’ More Attractive?

It is upto the businessmen of Vadodara to find the root cause of this issue because every business depends on reputation.

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