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From Harshad Mehta to Vijay Mallya, a look at India's biggest scammers

Amid the ongoing Adani row, let's take a look at India's biggest scams in history.
01:26 PM Feb 04, 2023 IST | APN Live
from harshad mehta to vijay mallya  a look at india s biggest scammers

Adani Group lost more than Rs 5,29,865 crore in the last week after investors backed out as the US-based Hindenburg Research released their investigative report and accused Gautam Adani of fraud and stock manipulation.


Earlier, there have been multiple financial scams that shook the nation. Amid the ongoing Adani row, let’s take a look at India’s biggest scams in history.

Harshad Mehta

Harshad Mehta, a registered and well-known broker carried out India’s biggest scam in the stock market in 1992. Mehta was accused of manipulating the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) with his partners by taking advantage of the loopholes in the banking system, reports said.


He created a cycle of fraud with banks including the State Bank of India and the National Housing Bank.

Reports also say Mehta conspired with bank employees and got fake bank receipts issued and used those bank receipts to get other banks to lend him money. The amount was further put into the stock market to spike share prices by up to 4,400 per cent and Mehta then sold these shares at a staggering profit. After this, the principal amount was returned to the banks.


Referred to as the Big Bull of Dalal Street, Mehta defrauded the banks of almost Rs 4,000 crore. On February 28, 1992, the tax department carried out a raid and seized several documents and share certificates. On June 4, 1992, the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted a search on the Mehtas.

Reports say the tax return filed by Harshad Mehta for the assessment year 1992-93 was rejected and he was jailed in 1992.

Further, Mehta was convicted by both the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court and was charged with 74 criminal offences. His legal battles continued till 2001 when he died due to a cardiac arrest in jail at 47.

B Ramalinga Raju

The scam carried out by B Ramalinga Raju is popular as Satyam Scam 2009. The fraud involved corporate governance and fraudulent auditing practices allegedly colluding with the auditors and CAs. Raju’s company Satyam Computer Services Ltd. was accused of misrepresenting its accounts to its stock exchanges, board, regulators, investors, and all other stakeholders.

After the scam came to light, the company admitted that they misrepresented, manipulated and falsified their accounts of over Rs 14,000 crore. Reports say Raju raised the cash to purchase several thousands of acres of land across Andhra Pradesh for a realty marker.

Nirav Modi

Nirav Modi along with his uncle Mehul Choksi pulled out one of the biggest bank frauds in India. The scam took place through Punjab National Bank Brady House Brand and also involved two senior PNB officials with Modi and Choksi.

In 2018, the PNB registered a case with CBI and accused Nirav Modi and his companies of obtaining Letters of Undertaking from the PNB without paying up the margin amount against loans. Additionally, the bank also submitted a fraud report to the Reserve Bank of India.

The same year Nirav Modi left India to evade the law days before a case was filed against him and others involved in the case.

Vijay Mallya

In 2016, the Kingfisher owner fled the country after he was accused of fraud and money laundering. Reports say Mallya owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to multiple banks he took loans from for his personal agenda and to save his Kingfisher airlines.

He took refuge in the United Kingdom and was also declared a fugitive economic offender at the request of the Enforcement Directorate under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Mallya left the country on March 2, 2016, after being warned of an arrest. However, he claimed that his trip to London was a part of his business pattern and lifestyle. A warrant was petitioned under Mallya for the crimes under the Money Laundering Prevention Act, of 2022. Following this, he was arrested in London by the Metropolitan Police on an international warrant.

However, he was granted bail worth $650,005,40,87,856 and was asked to hand over his documents, reports said.

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