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What the hell is going on in this country? Kuch nayee baat batao, yaar!

6 March 2011 2,427 views 32 Comments
Continued from Part I.  The fascinating story of a certain Mr Hasan Ali Khan would have remained just a story but for a PIL petition by Sh. Ram Jethmalani and a Supreme Court bench which clearly felt enough was enough. Yesterday, I shared with you the trail of news-reports leading up to February of this year.  The final trigger to this post were three news-reports that appeared last week and a remarkable observation by Supreme Court.  The first of these three reports from last week was by CNN-IBN that confirmed what many had already suspected. Titled, “Hasan Ali’s link to gun-running, terror exposed”, it mentioned how
Ali is under investigation by the Income Tax Department for laundering upto Rs 40,000 crore.
This was the first time I had heard of Hasan Ali being investigated for “money laundering”. Up until now, alls I had read was a case for tax evasion. But CNN-IBN was categorical about where the investigation was headed:
Hasan Ali Khan – frequently seen on the race courses of Mumbai and Pune – owns race horses, a fleet of imported luxury cars and prime property in Europe. Yet, he didn’t file any income tax returns. But now, Hasan Ali was seen going in and out of Income Tax offices because he is the main accused in India’s biggest ever multi-billion-dollar money laundering and tax fraud case.
Not that this shocked me. The report also mentioned how:
Investigators have procured three letters Rogatory or Letters of Request, sent to United Kingdom, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates on July 13, 2009, which showed how huge funds were amassed. Suspected to be proceeds of crime, the funds have been invested in various immovable and movable assets, which include deposits in various banks around the world through Money Laundering. (sic)
Ignoring the poor editing for a while, the report added that
Hasan Ali’s offences are not just related to money laundering, but also gun-running, terrorism and forgery.
The report included details of several multi-million dollars (actually hundreds of millions dollars) transactions. It also mentioned that “..many of Hasan Ali’s transactions involved Kolkata-based businessman Kashinath Tapuriah. Tapuriah is the younger brother of late Priyamvada Birla….
And
In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN in Kolkata, Tapuriah said he was introduced to Hasan Ali by two former MPs, both from Andhra Pradesh.
An ET report mentioned that one of them was a senior Congressman. An Indian Express report actually mentioned the names:
Tapuriah, for instance, named two politicians as the ones who allegedly referred Khan to him (A.S. Chowdhary and Vijay Bhaskar Reddy).
Is this true? Have Sh Reddy and Sh Chowdhary made any statement denying or accepting their links to Tapuriah and/or Hasan Ali Khan? Interestingly, the CBDT appears to have been keen to ensure that no “political connection” be revealed in this case. How else does one explain the curious statement by Sh A K Sinha quoted in this India Today cover story of March 26 2007?
..Central Board of Direct Taxes..spokesperson A.K. Sinha said, There is no question of any political party or politician’s name figuring in the investigations. It is purely a flight of imagination.
The second report last week was from ToI. Titled, “SC pulls up Centre on Hasan Ali case”, it mentioned how the “Supreme Court questioned the government over the progress made into investigations on Hasan Ali”
“What is in the way of taking action against Hasan Ali,” the court questioned the Centre. “How many years will investigations continue against Ali?” it added. The court said the matter was serious and it did not want any delay.
Image courtesy: India Today
The Supreme Court also wanted to know why custodial interrogation of Hasan Ali and other alleged black money launderers had not taken place yet. Interestingly the court also ordered
..forthwith reinstatement of three key ED officials allegedly transferred midway into the probe in a case of foreign exchange law violation by the Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan.
Who were these officials? When were they transferred? Was this information not known to the media? If it was, why was it never reported? Was it not important enough? Not relevant enough? Or some other reason? The Supreme Court appears to have been clearly exasperated by the explanation and/or the delay in the probe:
When Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium tried to make certain submissions, the bench virtually snubbed him, saying, “What the hell is going on in this country.”
..The bench granted time till Tuesday (8th March) to the Centre to file its response failing which it said the court would be constrained to pass necessary orders.
This stinging observation met with a bland reaction from the Finance Minister.  Guess what was the response?
That is being taken care of….All appropriate action will be taken..
You read it right. Everything is being “taken care of”. Sigh. And then yesterday, I learnt that, “Khan has been asked to appear before ED officials on March 7″. Although CNN-IBN claimed that he will have 15 days to reply…
The income tax department has issued a show cause notice to tax defaulter Hasan Ali, on non-payment of Rs 40,000 crore worth of tax dues. He has been given 15 days to reply.
Does that mean that Sh Hasan Ali is to appear before ED on 7th march but can remain silent until 15 days? Indian Express however quotes Hasan Ali’s CA saying that he is going to appear before ED on March 10.
Pune-based Hasan Ali Khan will appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Mumbai on March 10, said his chartered accountant (CA) Sunil Shinde here on Friday.
Producing copies of an ED summons, Shinde said Khan will co-operate with investigators and hold a press conference within 15 days to answer questions raised against him. The summons was over money laundering allegations.
So is this another meeting with ED after March 7th? Or is the March 7th date wrong? And what is the real amount of tax demand? Rs 40,000 crores? Rs 50,000 crores? Rs 70,000 crores? or some other number? Questions, Questions and more questions.
But I am not holding my breath for any clear answers anytime soon…As Tavleen Singh reminded us recently, the Supreme Court itself is not hopeful about speedy justice:
The system has already become sick. What can be the expectation of the common man for speedy justice? Even in the Supreme Court, a special leave petition takes eight years to reach final hearing.
So there you are. In the meantime, Sh Hasan Ali continues with his work-outs and generous Rs 400-500 tips on   restaurant bills that are “just around Rs. 100”.
Oh and did I mention he now has an entry in Wikipedia too?  To top off this 2-part series, a few snippets to add more colour to the fascinating story of a certain Mr Hasan Ali Khan, stud farm owner and mystery billionaire…
The first one, courtesy Indian Express:
After closing down the car rental and then a scrap business, Khan started a jewellery shop in Kuwait in partnership with a man called Hussain from Jammu and Kashmir in 2006-07.
I wonder what is the status of this “business”? Next:
Khan possessed three passports, the first issued in Hyderabad, the second in Mumbai in September 1998, and the third in Patna in April, 1997. On how he lost his original passport in UK, Khan is believed to have said that “he owed a huge chunk” of money to some illegal Russian nationals who seized his passport. The Indian High Commission issued him a fresh passport.
I also learnt during my background research that between July – Oct 2008, while being on the run- after his bail plea was rejected:
Khan is alleged to have shifted to the private residence of a government official, paying a rent of around Rs. 5,000 per day, in Lonavala between July and October 2008.
Who was this government official? Why was the rent so high – equivalent to a five-star hotel room rates? I also stumbled on an Indian Express story which revealed how Hasan Ali Khan’s bank account had “swelled” over the years:
Evidence from a June 2003 document recovered by the agencies, duly notarised by the Notary Public of London
• Khan had an account with a deposit of $1.5 million with UBS Singapore. The recommendation was organised by Dr Peter Weilly through arms dealer Adnam Khashoggi, whose portfolio was handled by Weilly
• A payment of $240 million was approved by Weilly and accepted by Reto Hartman at UBS Singapore
• After the $240 million transaction, the account moved from UBS Singapore to UBS Zurich in 1986
• By December 1997, the deposit amount reached $560 million. Due to certain problems, Khan could not operate this account
• As on August 31 2006, the balance in the account was $6.6 billion
• Balance as on November 2, 2006: $7.7 billion
• Balance as on December 8, 2006: $8.04 billion
I also learnt about a certain Mr Yusuf Lakdawala, Hasan Ali’s “friend” with whom he stayed for four months. Is this the same person mentioned in this report?
Financer Yusuf Lakdawala know that when he throws a party, it’s bound to be attended by the rich and famous of Mumbai city.
Former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was around, while other political bigwigs present included Narayan Rane and controversial tantrik Chandraswami. Bollywood’s high and mighty names comprised of Sanjay Khan, Madhur Bhandarkar, Abbas-Mastan, Dharmedra, Jackie Shroff, Bali Brahmbhatt, Jatin Pandit and his younger brother Lalit, Johnny Lever with wife Sujatha, Babul Supriyo, Talat Aziz, Raza Murad and Cricket Mohammed Azharuddin.
And finally, a news-report that revealed Hasan Ali’s involvement with law-enforcement agencies going back a long way…A very long way back, in fact..to 1984.
The Hyderabad police seem to have washed their hands of Syed Hasan Ali Khan alias Hasan Ali, the 53-year-old stud farm owner allegedly involved in a mega-crore money-laundering scam, by claiming that all the seven criminal cases pertaining to him have been disposed of by the courts.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Balwinder Singh and Additional Commissioner of Police (Crimes) told newsmen on Monday that two cases of bank fraud, four cases of cheating and a case of acid attack on a doctor were lodged against Hasan Ali in various police stations.
“No case is pending against him as all the previous cases were disposed of by the courts,” they pointed out.
…The Hyderabad City police had arrested Hasan Ali twice between 1991 and 1992, once for allegedly cheating the State Bank of Hyderabad and the next time for duping private persons.
The city police had caught him in 1991 with the help of Interpol and the Canadian police for cheating the SBH. On the pretext that his mother was ill in Toronto, he had fled to Canada after a case was registered against him.
The Hyderabad police had alerted Interpol about Hasan Ali and they informed the Toronto police who arrested him and brought him to Mumbai, after which he was taken to Hyderabad. Subsequently, he was acquitted.
He is said to have been picked up by the police from Mumbai again in 1992, brought to Hyderabad and remanded to judicial custody in one of these cheating cases. The police had seized four cars, including a Mercedes, from him. He went free, however, since the victims did not come forward to pursue the cases against him.
The oldest case against Hasan Ali pertained to an acid attack on a doctor, his neighbour, in 1984. Dr P Niranjan Rao’s face was disfigured and he had to undergo 30 surgeries. Since the police could not trace the records relating to the case, it is not clear whether Hasan Ali was arrested and acquitted in this case.
However a report in Indian Express dated a day after appeared to contradict the reported statement of two police officials in the case. In fact the report had a sentence that almost contradicted the headline itself! Titled, “No case against Hassan Ali in Andhra: Police“, it mentioned:
Police are, however, still investigating to see if there are any more cases against him.

I doubt if we will ever know…and sometimes I despair whether many of us really care.

Google News tells me that some of the headlines making “news” today are: ‘They used hypnosis to rob elderly”, “Varun Gandhi ties nuptial knot with Yamini”, “Jats demand reservations, block Lucknow-Delhi route” and “Omar Abdullah bats for grant of passports to kin of militants in J&K“. And of course my twitter time-line is overloaded with  the World Cup “news”.

As for corruption, tax-evasion and scandals, I am reminded of the title of one of my posts (that oddly, had nothing to do with corruption or scandals): Kuch nayee baat batao yaar!(roughly translated as: Tell me something new). Sigh.

In case you missed the first part: : A stud farm owner, arms deals & missing billions (dollars!)

32 Comments »

  • 1. krishna said:

    Hi,
    If this person has this much amount of money laundering then imagine how many are still existed without coming into picture?

  • 2. Neeraj Singh said:

    Questions need to be asked to the officials & ministers under whose nose these things have ben going on? Question is not about Hasan Ali rather the ED. what happened to its intelligence. Where was the income tax department for so long? Fix them first.

  • 3. Sid said:

    Superb!!!

  • 4. Bhargavi said:

    Nayee baat? What do you mean? We all have forgotten CWG, 2G, Adarsh, Joshi couple… ages ago. so, now Hassan Ali is the NEWS! Mite be topic (looting/corruption) doesn’t change, but certainly the people’s name and amount do! So is the nayee baat in it;

  • 5. B Shantanu (author) said:

    @Krishna: Good point.

    @Neeraj: Yes, a lot of questions for a LOT of people, actually. The latest “news* is that the entire case is based on forged documents. Stay tuned.

    @Sid: Thanks.

    @Bhargavi: You missed the deep sarcasm in the title!

  • 6. Bhargavi said:

    @ Shantanu: I got it right and agreed in toto. But I was caustic enough to comment on the fact with the current “SHITuation” in India, one can’t expect any change (nayee baat) in the Subject line (corruption) but just to enjoy the surprises we are blessed with different, new names (with the same subject) and the amount it involved (Surprising of course)!! Very good piece of article.. :)

  • 7. Prakash said:

    This is not an issue for individuals and bloggers. No amount of internet research will ever lead you to facts. This is an issue for political parties.

    Hasan Ali is not guilty till he is convicted of some crime. Political parties are guilty of not taking up the issue. I would’t care about Hasan Ali. I would like to know who else is taking up this issue. BJP? Any media house? Who is on the side of common people?

  • 8. AAryan said:

    Lagta hai yeh diya bujhne ki nishani hai.
    Seems end is coming soon to the Indian corruption scene.
    I hope!

    ||namO Bhaartam, namO Sanskritam||

  • 9. ashwani said:

    don’t loose sight of what lies in future after the current cj retires.af(a)tab alam.

  • 10. Sridhar said:

    Your article is very good …but,
    we have become so used to the corruption in this country that we are not all shocked ,and I am sure nothing will ever happen to any of the bigwigs of this Country.
    If any of the salaried class or a middle class income tax payer does not pay or even submit his tax returns the IT dept gets behind them, how come this was allowed.

  • 11. Bhargavi said:

    Shantanu SIR, Terror attack is anticipated in INDIA!!! Hain na NAYEE BAAT!!! :)

  • 12. Uma said:

    Terror attacks have also become part of our lives just like corruption! India winning the World Cup is the only NAYEE BAAT many are worried about! Hasan Ali will soon become history just like everything else that came before him! Unless we wake up from this selective amnesia, even God can’t save us!

  • 13. Malavika said:

    Somethings rotten in Sonia-MMS led India. Kanchi Shankaracharya was not given bail easily and the criminal case against him is falling apart. So called Hindutva terrorists are in jail without a trial for over 3 years.

    Now, Hasan Ali was given a bail because the ED goofed(deliberately??) up. The Swiss said that the ED sent them forged documents and the judge hearing the case said

    “No material evidence has been presented by the ED that shows any scheduled offence has been committed by Khan,” Principal Sessions Court Judge M L Tahaliyani observed while rejecting the agency’s remand application.”

    Sonia-MMS govt jai Ho!

  • 14. CHANDRA MOULY said:

    There is a saying in english.”IF YOU KILL ONE PERSON, YOU WILL BE A MURDERER.BUT,IF YOU KILL THOUSANDS OF PERSONS YOU WILL BE A WARRIOR”.
    Hassan ali is also a warrior, assisted several political lieutenants.
    That is the fate of the country.

  • 15. Malavika said:

    Robert Vadra officially teams up with DLF. Earlier DLF made secured and unsecured loans to Vadra and to his several business interests.

    “Regulatory filings available in the public domain and reviewed by ET reporters reveal the changing graph of Vadra?s business interests. These include wide-ranging transactions with the DLF Group. Several of his companies have received loans, some unsecured, from DLF group companies, including the Bombay Stock Exchange-listed flagship DLF Ltd.”

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/real-estate/news-/robert-vadra-ties-up-with-dlf-makes-low-key-entry-into-real-estate-business/articleshow/7697331.cms

    There is a rumor in Hyd that Sonia’s Son In Law, Robert Vadra is involved with Emmar, MGF. Hence in spite of the fallout between Sonia and YSR’s son Jagan the State govt is not investigating Emmar real estate deal which cost the state govt over 200 Crore rupees. It should be noted that EMMAR recieved nearly 200 acres of prime land in Gachibowli for free and they were supposed to give State govt a percentage of profits. So far they have managed to show only losses.

    Now, noted financial journalist Sucheta Dalal made this tweet:

    “Economic Times breaks Robert Vadra entry in realty with DLF. L’le bird says he’s with Emaar Mgf for CWG contracts 2! That’s why kalmadi free”

    http://twitter.com/suchetadalal

    Sonia Parivar and Chamchas are looting the country like there is no tomorrow.

  • 16. B Shantanu said:

    Just in: Hasan Ali laundered money for 3 former Maharashtra CMs

    Unfortunately, no names.

  • 17. संदीप नारायण शेळके said:

    Maharashtra Ex-CM List:
    [Dead ]Vasantdada Patil(2) – March-July 1978 and 1983-85
    [Living]Sharad Pawar(3) – 1978-80, 1988-91 and 1993-95
    [Living]AR Antuley(1) – 1980-82
    [Dead ]Babasaheb Bhosale(1) – 1982-83
    [Living]Shivajirao Nilangekar(1) – 1985-86
    [Dead ]Shankarrao Chavhan(2) – 1986-88
    [Dead ]Sudhakarrao Naik(1) – 1991-93
    [Living]Manohar Joshi(1) – 1995-99
    [Living]Narayan Rane(1) – Jan-Oct 1999
    [Living]Vilasrao Deshmukh(2) – 1999-2003 and 2004-08
    [Living]Sushilkumar Shinde(1) – 2003-04
    [Living]Ashok Chavhan(2) – 2008-09 and 2009-10
    [Living]Prithviraj Chavhan(1) – 2010-Current

    Any guesses who might have received bounty from Hasan Bhai?

  • 19. B Shantanu (author) said:

    From IBN Live:Kolkata: In an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN, Swiss Ambassador Philippe Welti…alleged that the Centre has not done enough to get information on money laundering.
    The Government hasn’t filed a single application in a proper manner agreed upon by the two governments in its double taxation treaty to access such data.
    “All that the Indian government needs to do is to apply in a proper manner as per rules agreed upon by the two governments,” said Welti.

  • 20. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Extracts from Rajinder Puri‘s damning piece, What binds Hassan Ali and Congress together?:
    Very simply, and bluntly, because the Congress party is most likely involved with Hassan Ali and has used his kind services to park its funds illegally abroad. That is why Mr Mukherjee must defend Hassan Ali.
    This is a serious charge but the circumstantial evidence to justify it is overwhelming.
    Readers might recall that on 3 May, 2010 it was pointed out in these columns that Hassan Ali held a secret meeting with Congress politicians including the political secretary to the Congress president. This was pointed out in the Maharashtra Assembly by the Opposition and subsequently confirmed after investigation by the state police. The question was posed: “During his interaction with Hassan Ali was (Congress political secretary) Ahmed Patel representing himself or his boss, (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi? If he was representing himself why has Sonia Gandhi not sacked him? If he was representing the Congress president how does Sonia Gandhi explain her party’s links with the nation’s biggest money launderer who is being protected by the finance minister?”
    There was no response in word or deed to the question raised. It is fair to infer therefore that Mr Ahmed Patel was not acting singularly but representing his boss, Mrs Sonia Gandhi.
    What other conclusion can one draw but that the Congress is guilty and the government is doing everything to protect its partner in crime, Hassan Ali? Today the Congress presents a strange picture. It reminds one of a sinking ship in which the captain, the first mate and the second mate all hate each other. However because the ship is sinking, fear binds them all. Let Mr Pranab Mukherjee know. All the half truths, the obfuscation and the bluster will not prevent the Congress ship from sinking. Its day is done. Smart Congress leaders should learn from rats. They should desert the ship before they sink with it.

  • 21. B Shantanu (author) said:

    This is Sh Puri’s article from 3rd May ’10 referrred to above:
    Connect the dots and the picture that emerges is not pretty. Either the Congress is so stupid that it deserves to be removed from power, or it is so corrupt that it deserves to be removed from power. Wittingly or otherwise the BJP until now has served only Hassan Ali’s interests. Publicizing the CD will act as a powerful disincentive for the government to act against Hasan Ali. By not pursuing the matter at the national level the BJP has failed to serve its own interests. Therefore the BJP is either so corrupt that it deserves to perpetually remain out of power. Or it is so stupid that it deserves to perpetually remain out of power.

    Corruption has become so widespread and brazen that it is destroying the foundations of the Indian Republic. India can stand on the roof and watch its neighbour’s house in flames. Why doesn’t it look below its feet to realize that its own house is burning?

  • 22. B Shantanu (author) said:

    So this is how the drama might end: Hasan gets bail as ED fails to link his money to crime from which:
    Justice Thipsay while earlier hearing the arguments said that the investigators needed to find out if the money allegedly amassed by Khan was proceeds of crime. “There cannot be a presumption on this,” the court had said.
    :-(

  • 23. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Do read: Why India too is a TAX haven now!by MR Venkatesh

  • 24. B Shantanu (author) said:

    From Swiss govt contradicts FM stand on bankers’ body
    Posted: Friday, Jan 06, 2012 at 0407 hrs IST
    …New Delhi: Participating in a debate on black money in Parliament, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had said that despite making sincere efforts, he could neither locate the Swiss Bankers’ Association nor was able to find the work done by the organisation
    However, when FE contacted the Swiss government, the task proved easier and the organisation was easily located. “The Swiss Bankers’ Association (SBA) is a leading professional organisation of the Swiss financial centre. The headquarters is in Basel, Switzerland,” Swiss federal tax administration spokesman Beat Furrer said in an e-mailed query to FE.

    During the debate on black money adjournment motion in winter session, Mukherjee had attacked media for highlighting the name of Swiss Bankers’ Association, saying that after his two years of sincere efforts, he could not locate the organisation.

    “When I asked through our ambassador to Switzerland, he expressed inability to identify any such organisation. But this organisation had a very prominent place in Indian media for several days together,” the finance minister had said. He was speaking on money stashed by Indians in Switzerland as per various reports, including that of Swiss Bankers’ Association.

  • 25. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Excerpts from another report on this sordid saga by Sh Rajinder Puri, special article 4 May 2010, Rajinder Puri:

    Clearly, Finance Minister Mukherjee is covering up the Hassan Ali probe. Why? The answer may have been given in the Maharashtra Assembly. On 13 April a CD showing Hassan Ali was laid on the table of the House by BJP MLA Devendra Phadnavis. The CD contained Ali’s statement to the police in which he mentioned the names of former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Maharashtra Home Minister, RR Patil, and the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary, Ahmed Patel. In the CD, Ali claimed a meeting involving RR Patil and Ahmed Patel at Juhu Centaur Hotel on 11 August 2008 to approve Hasan Gafoor’s name as Mumbai’s police commissioner. Home Minister Patil vehemently denied any association with Ali. “I have never met Ahmed Patel and never spoken to him face to face. The CID will probe if the motive of the CD was to harm Gafoor, me, Ahmed Patel or anybody else”, Patil told the assembly.

    The government ordered an inquiry conducted by the Additional Director-General, CID, and the SP, S Yadav. The CD was prepared by the use of spy cam by the Deputy Police Commissioner Ashok Deshbhratar. Predictably, the politicians named have not been questioned. Their denials have been accepted at face value. Instead the CID charged IPS officer Ashok Deshbhratar, who produced the CD, with trying to extort money from Hassan Ali! In its 15-page report the CID stated that Hassan Ali’s confession has been selectively edited. The CID had sent the CD to the forensic lab at Chandigarh. Its report said the audio-visual pieces of interrogation were not inter-linked, but joined together in sequence to appear as if they are part of continuous interrogation. Inter-linked or not, the forensic report does not deny that it was Hassan Ali himself speaking the “disjointed” narrative. CID investigations confirmed that one meeting did take place involving Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ahmed Patel at Juhu Centaur on 15 March 2008. But CID comforted itself with the fact it could not have discussed Gafoor’s appointment because by then he had already been appointed as Mumbai’s Commissioner of Police. Never mind the Police Commissioner’s appointment, how is Hassan Ali’s proximity to Congress politicians including Ahmed Patel, the political secretary of Sonia Gandhi to be explained?

    CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence reveals, therefore, that Hassan Ali, the nation’s biggest money launderer, is protected by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. And Hassan Ali has links with senior Congress politicians including the party president’s trusted political secretary. During his interaction with Ali was Ahmed Patel representing himself or his boss, Sonia Gandhi? If he was representing himself why has Sonia Gandhi not sacked him? If he was representing the Congress president how does Sonia Gandhi explain her party’s links with the nation’s biggest money launderer who is being protected by the Finance Minister?
    Connect the dots and the picture that emerges is not pretty. Either the Congress is so stupid that it deserves to be removed from power, or it is so corrupt that it deserves to be removed from power.
    Wittingly or otherwise the BJP until now has served only Hassan Ali’s interests. Publicizing the CD will act as a powerful disincentive for the government to act against Hassan Ali. By not pursuing the matter at the national level the BJP has failed to serve its own interests. Therefore, the BJP is either so corrupt that it deserves to perpetually remain out of power. Or it is so stupid that it deserves to perpetually remain out of power.

  • 26. B Shantanu (author) said:

    From Black money: Enforcement Directorate helped Hasan Ali Khan cover tracks by ADITI RAJA | Mumbai, January 16, 2012, some excerpts (emphasis added):
    …The ED allowed the stud farm owner to remain clammed up and cover his tracks by not asking any leading questions on his political or business beneficiaries during the videography session that took place on May 1, 2011.
    Even the name of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister, the late Vijay Bhaskar Reddy, which cropped up in Ali’s first confessional statement, disappeared mysteriously during the video shoot. In Ali’s earlier statement, recorded on March 18, 2011, he had said while replying to a pointed query by the investigators: “Mr Vijay Bhaskar Reddy is known to me as a lawyer in Hyderabad. He had appeared on my behalf in a case concerning the SBI around 1985. Mr A. S. Choudhary is also known to me and he is the owner of Navbharat Tobacco Company at Hyderabad. But I do not have any business relations with him.”

    The answer, though not very revealing, led the ED straight to the political bigwigs involved in Ali’s racket. In fact, Kashinath Tapuriah, the alleged manager and facilitator of his foreign accounts and fake passports, confessed repeatedly that the ‘Reddy’ being alluded to was none other than the former Andhra CM and Choudhary was an ex-Rajya Sabha MP of the Congress.

    During his videography, Tapuriah said: “Hasan Ali took me to meet Choudhary and Reddy in 2000 and they spoke well of him.
    ..His links with Reddy and other politicians were not explored at all.
    …Ali was inexplicably not confronted with any evidence or earlier statements. On the contrary, he was allowed to deny everything. “I do not know any politicians or film personalities in south (India),” he said.

    In the last eight months since the ED filed its 950-page chargesheet in the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai on May 6, 2011, it has not shown any progress in the case. …
    In September last year, the ED had told the apex court that it would send a two- member team from its Mumbai unit to other countries in order to substantiate the case against him.

    However, to date, the agency’s team has yet to take off and its sleuths are not even sure when they will actually travel abroad to dig up the dirt against Ali.

    The delay is only strengthening Ali’s confidence. He filed an application before the Mumbai court on December 15 in 2011, seeking discharge from the money laundering Act case. The court last heard the matter on January 6 this year and has deferred the hearing further.

    Since 2007, there seems to be a pattern in the investigations against Ali. The ED’s inability to prove his black money trail using the fake passports has often left the agency crimsonfaced.

    Repeated rebukes from the sessions courts as well as pressure from the apex court have not spurred it into taking concrete steps in the case.

  • 27. B Shantanu (author) said:

    This is how a determined government goes after the information it *really* wants…
    UPDATE: Swiss Bank Wegelin Indicted On US Tax Charges – Justice Dept:
    …Indictment charges bank with facilitating tax evasion from 2002 through 2011

  • 28. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Meanwhile, Recovery of Rs 91,859 cr arrear from Hassan Ali not possible: Finance Ministry, Dec 6, 2012….

    …”In Hassan Ali Group, the recovery is not possible though all known immovable and move-able assets belonging to the group have been attached,” the Finance Ministry said in its submission before the (Parliamentary) Standing Committee on Finance.

    Out of the total arrears of Rs 2.48 lakh crore, Rs 1.30 lakh crore approximately pertains to money laundering and securities scam cases, according to the data submitted by the Finance Ministry to Standing Committee whose report was tabled in the Lok Sabha today.

    Besides Hassan Ali Khan group, it said, Harshad Mehta Group has arrears of Rs 20,244 crore; Ketan Parekh Group – Rs 4,017 crore and Dalal Group – Rs 14,379 crore.

  • 29. Gopal said:

    The Tehelka post on the subject claims that it is all hot air.
    http://www.tehelka.com/story_main49.asp?filename=Ne160411Coverstory.asp

    So does the Finance Ministry submission to (Parliamentary) Standing Committee that the amount cannot be collected change the report by Tehelka?

  • 30. B Shantanu said:

    From Recovery of Rs. 91,859 crore arrear from Hassan Ali not possible: Finance Ministry, Press Trust of India | Updated On: December 06, 2012
    New Delhi: The recovery of tax arrears of about Rs. 91,000 crore from stud farm owner Hassan Ali Khan is not possible, the Finance Ministry has informed a Parliamentary panel.

    …Further, it informed, the attached assets are inadequate to recover the entire dues.

    The Hassan Ali Khan group has tax arrears of Rs. 91,859 crore, the Ministry said.

    Out of the total arrears of Rs. 2.48 lakh crore, Rs. 1.30 lakh crore approximately pertains to money laundering and securities scam cases, ..
    Besides Hassan Ali Khan group, it said, Harshad Mehta Group has arrears of Rs. 20,244 crore; Ketan Parekh Group – Rs. 4,017 crore and Dalal Group – Rs. 14,379 crore.

  • 31. B Shantanu (author) said:

    For the record: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/from–8bn-to–93mn/1137364/
    This week, the Supreme Court will take up Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan’s fifth bail plea in 27 months, a period during which estimates for the money he allegedly laundered have fallen drastically.

    The income tax department had once cited Rs 110,412,68,85,303 as his income, while the Enforcement Directorate had claimed he had parked $8 billion in 2007 in the Union Bank of Switzerland. Today, the ED has scaled that down to $93.7 million in Switzerland’s Bank Sarasin and Singapore’s SBC.

  • 32. B Shantanu said:

    Placing this here for the record: ‘UPA helped key leader siphon off $8 billion’, by MADHAV NALAPAT, 5th Jul 2014.

    Thanks

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