Cobbler Scam

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Serial Number.TopicPage Number.
2How the scam unearthed6
3People affected by the scam7
4Legal Details7
5Politicians Implicated in the scam9
6Treatment of the scam13
7Media Projection16
8Conclusion 34


The Cobbler Scam is one of the biggest multi million dollars scam in Indian History, is nicknamed The Great Cobbler Scam. What really happened in this Great Cobbler Scam was that various businessman & politicians had siphoned around $600 million US dollars from a scheme that was floated by the Government of India meant to benefit the poor cobblers of Mumbai. Instead, it went into the pockets of the elites who used this money to built luxury homes for themselves and also brought luxury cars, boats, arts, etc. The money of the scheme was meant to provide low interest loans and tax concessions to the Mumbai's poorest - cobblers who work 16-hours a day for less than $2. Not a single penny reached these cobblers.

The modus operandi of the mastermind was to float a cooperative society of cobblers to avail of soft government loans through various schemes. Several bogus societies of cobblers were formed only for the purpose of availing these soft government loans. The main heads Daya of Dawood Shoes, Rafique Tejani of Metro Shoes and Kishore Signapurkar of Milano Shoes created fictitious cooperative societies for cobblers. On behalf of these non existing cooperative societies they availed loans of crores of rupees from different banks. The accused created a fictitious cooperative society of cobblers to take advantage of government loans through various schemes. The banks involved in giving loans were also charge sheeted.

The primary accused in the multi-crore shoe scam is Sohin Daya, son of former Sheriff of Mumbai. The people involved in this racket were Saddrudin Daya, former sheriff of Mumbai and owner of Dawood Shoes, Rafique Tejani, owner of Metro Shoes, Kishore Signapurkar, proprietor of Milano Shoes, and Abu Asim Azmi, president of Samajwadi Party's Mumbai unit and partner in Citywalk Shoes. Beside them various officials of banks and financial institutions were also involved in this multi million dollars scam.

The Banks whose officials were involved in this scam are: Maharashtra State Finance Corporation, Citibank, Bank of Oman, Dena Bank, Development Credit Bank, Saraswat Co-operative Bank, and Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait.

This scam cost the Government of India around $600 million US dollars. This was one of the worst scam in India that cheated the poorest people of the society and benefited a lot of rich and elite people. This is one of the reasons why poverty in India is difficult to eliminate. The scam was exposed in 1995.

The following is an article by the Express News Service on how the Cobbler Scam was exposed: VIGILANT AGENCIES EXPOSED SHOE SCAM
Express News Service

MUMBAI, June 1: The unearthing of the Rs 1600-crore cobbler's scam that closed in on bigwigs of the shoe industry was expected, caused as it was by three agencies working towards its exposure. Officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's octroi department had lodged complaints about raw materials being brought into the city on a large scale. These materials had octroi concessions as they were brought in lieu of the cooperative societies. On the basis of the complaints, the police carried out its own investigations, and a diligent officer in the office of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies decided to do a complete survey of registered societies in Mumbai.

Immediately after taking charge in 1995, Sudhir Thakre, the joint registrar of the Cooperative Society for Mumbai division, ordered a survey of the registered societies. ``Our officers, especially auditors of each of these societies complained that most of these societies did not exist at the registered addresses furnished to...
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